Banagher (Beannchar na Sionna in Irish) is a small town in County Offaly with a population of approximately 1,700 people, ideally situated on the banks of the River Shannon and is close to early monastic sites in the mid-Shannon region. It is located at a shallow crossing point on the river and was probably settled in early Christian times. Banagher is a town in County Offaly .
Borough status was conferred on the town by a Royal Charter of Charles I in 1629. By then the power of the local clans, the MacCoghlans in Garrycastle and the O’Maddens in Cloghan Castle was in sharp decline. The Armstrong family, descendants of Cromwellian settlers, now held sway here until the 19th century.The town originated at a ford on the east bank of the river and is steeped in history. The main street was developed just minutes from the banks of the River Shannon.
There are many historical buildings dotted around the vicinity such as Martello Tower and the famous 5 Arch Bridge. Charlotte Bronte was married to a local vicar, Rev. Nichols, and honeymooned in Banagher, staying in Cuba House and what is now Charlotte’s Way B&B.
Banagher before the famine had a population of 3000 and was a noted centre for the malting and brewing industries. With the coming of the railway in 1884, its cattle and horse fairs were among the largest in Ireland. Banagher Concrete is now the town’s main employer and the horse-fair is still held every September.
The River Shannon
With the Shannon, the Brosna, the Little Brosna and the Grand Canal all on our doorstep, Banagher today is a paradise for boating, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. Cruisers can be hired from Banagher Marina and holidaymakers boating on the Shannon can avail of the town’s moorings to explore the lively town.
The surrounding callows are home to a large variety of wildlife, not to mention an abundance of flora and fauna.
The hugely popular annual festival titled “That Beats Banagher” has something for everyone and is a delight for both the locals and visitors alike.
At Crank House Tourist Information Point our aim is to promote the town of Banagher and its surrounds while offering advice on having the best experiences in Ireland. We provide information on local activities, attractions and events.
You may decide to take a leisurely walk exploring Banagher and its historic sites from The Martello Tower at the bridge over the Shannon to Hill House at the top of the town and discover its links with novelist Charlotte Bronte. Take a cruise on the majestic river Shannon or visit Lough Boora’s Discovery Park. Enjoy its beautiful landscape, Sculpture Park and Mesolithic Site.
We provide information on Ireland’s Ancient East and The Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s East and North. We stock a selection of free guides together with maps and other literature to assist you in making your experience a memorable one.
We also provide internet access and printing facilities at minimal cost.