Tag Archives: Grange

Lacy and the canal

I have a short page about Lacy’s Canal, which runs from the south of the town of Mullingar to Lough Ennell (or vice versa).

Some folk say that the canal was named after Hugh de Lacy, a twelfth-century Lord of Meath, even though it was built in the eighteenth century. I have to say that that sounds improbable to me: I see no reason why the builders (or excavators) should thus summon the ghost of a long-dead lord, and I know of no evidence for the assertion. I accept, of course, that it may exist and, if so, I would be glad to hear about it.

However, it seems to me to be more likely that the canal was named after the eighteenth-century person who built it, who owned the land or who ran a business selling turf. I was therefore interested to read this advertisement in Saunders’s News-Letter of 29 April 1829:


To be sold, the interest in a lease for three young lives or 26 years unexpired, of about 50 acres of the lands of Grange, adjoining the Royal Canal, and the Great Barrack now building, and within half a mile of Mullingar: the lands are of prime quality, and one of the best situations in Westmeath for a lodge, dwelling, farm house, or dairy, there being the materials of a mansion upon the premises which would build it upon a site commanding an extensive prospect of the beautiful lake and improvements of Belvedere and Rochfort.

The crops of oats and potatoes can be had at a valuation. A purchaser of this interest will acquire many other advantages; immediate possession can be given when the value is offered. Apply to Edward Lacy, Mullingar, or Mr Charles Crampton, No 45, Clarendon-street, Dublin.

Grange and Mullingar (OSI ~1840)

Thus it seems that there were folk (or was at least one person) called Lacy living near Mullingar in the early nineteenth century. Unfortunately the Landed Estates Database does not cover Leinster, so I have no more information about them (or him).

Down the Rockville

Some time ago I wrote three pages about the Rockville Navigation, which is linked to Grange on the Carnadoe Waters in Co Roscommon.

I recently revisited the area. I was horrified, first, to find that the bridge — built in June 1765 — has been severely damaged, with large chunks of masonry in the cut beneath and with a crude wooden repair. How many bridges of that age are there in Co Roscommon? How many that are associated with one of the oldest navigations in the country? Please, someone, restore the bridge!

Damage to the bridge

Anyway, the more pleasant part of the day was the four hours that we spend descending, by dinghy and kayak, from the bridge to Grange. The route took us through artificial cuts, small lakes and sections of river, with very clear water and an extraordinary abundance of vegetation. This route would have been easily navigated by large wooden cots or similar boats, and it should be developed today as a canoe-and-small-boat trail. Even with very low water levels, we had no real problems, although someone has to end up with wet feet …. Here is an account of the trip.

Wading in the water