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Portumna County Galway Ireland
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Portumna (the landing place of the oak tree) is one of Galway's most attractive towns and is ideally situated by the River Shannon and Lough Derg to avail of all the attractions these fine waters have to offer. Portumna Forest Park provides a mile long sign-posted trail that guides you through a marvellous world of common and exotic trees. Of interest in Portumna would be Portumna Castle & Gardens, and the Dominican Friary, which are within the town of Portumna. The name Portumna derives from the Irish Port Omna, meaning the landing place of the oak tree.

Portumna Castle County Galway Ireland
                  Portumna Castle

Portumna Famine Workhouse County Galway
               Portumna Workhouse

Portumna Castle (above left) was built prior to 1618 by Richard de Burgo (Burke), the 4th Earl of Clanricarde, and a member of the Anglo-Norman de Burgo (Burke) family. Located in eastern County Galway near the north shore of Lough Derg, the partially-fortified castle is Jacobean in design. The immense structure is built in a rectangular block with a tower on each corner, and firing holes for those who might have to defend the castle can still be seen in each of the towers. It was the Irish home to the de Burgo family for over 200 years until it was destroyed by fire in 1828. The castles surrounding woods and parklands were taken over in 1948 by the Forestry Service and are now a wildlife sanctuary. Conservation and restoration on the building and immediate grounds began when they were acquired by the Office of Public Works in 1968. It has continued under Duchas The Heritage Service. Restoration work on the castle is ongoing with the first floor of the three-floor building open to the public. Exhibitions on the ground floor tell the history of the castle and of the de Burgo family. The extensive walled 17th century kitchen garden and the formal gardens have been completely restored and are open to the public. Located within the precinct of the castle, there are also ruins of a Dominican Friary built circa. 1425 and destroyed in 1540. More on Portumna Castle

Portumna Workhouse
Portumna was one of the new Poor Law Unions created in Ireland between 1848 and 1850.
Portumna Workhouse open in 1852 and was one of 33 opened after the Famine. As such, life there was not as harsh as in the 130 earlier workhouses opened before and during the Famine. Portumna Union was formally declared on 22nd February 1850. It was created from the southern parts of the Ballinasloe and Loughrea unions, and occupied an area of 121 square miles. The new Portumna Union workhouse was erected on a nine-acre site half a mile to the north-east of Portumna. Designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, the building was intended to accommodate 600 inmates.
Forest Park
The lake fringed Forest Park and Wildlife sanctuary is home to a variety of species of birds and deer. It is an excellent setting for relaxing walks, scenic pinics and beautiful nature trails. Portumna Forest Park was acquired in 1948 and covers almost 600 hectares (1,500 acres). It was formerly owned by the Clanrickarde family. Within the park there is an old abbey that dates back to the 15th century.
There is a viewing tower along the nature trail where one can get a bird's eye view of the forest, lake and lakeshore. Adjacent to the Park is a marina giving access to the Shannon waterway system. The park is easily accessible by water and road. The forest is mainly coniferous but also contains a wide variety of broadleaved trees, both native and exotic. In addition to woodlands there are wide open spaces, green fields, scrub, marsh, water and numerous off-shore islands. This inter mix of forest, open area, water and islands gives a wide choice of habitat to support a great variety of flora and fauna. more on Portumna Forest Park

Portumna Abbey County Galway
                   Portumna Abbey
Portumna Yew Walk - Portumna County Galway
               Portumna Yew Walk
Portumna Yew Walk
The Yew Walk In Portumna is a short walk from the Adams Gates of Portumna Castle to the rear wall of the Church of Ireland. It is about 300 years old but fell into disuse after a fire in the Castle in 1826. Many efforts have been made to restore it - only for Sean Ryan the Yew Walk might have never been opened.
The yew, with its poisonous dark evergreen leaves, tough wood and long life, is a symbol of death, eternity and the afterlife. Its excellent timber meant that it was considered one of the most important trees to man. Yew trees are best known for their association with graveyards where they are widely found, often close beside churches. Gerald of Wales in his History and Topography of Ireland remarks that: 'yews with their bitter sap are more frequently to be found in Ireland than in any other place I have visited; but you will see them principally in old cemeteries and sacred places where they were planted in ancient times by the hands of holy men to give them what ornament and beauty they could'.

Portumna being on the tip of the Shannon's largest lake, boasts a variety of activities for the water enthusiast, such as ; jet ski-ing, sailing, wind-surfing, boating, swimming, power-boat racing and cruising.


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