Tag Archives: Tarmonbarry

A disappointed reader …

… or so I imagine.  One person has today viewed my post about swinging moorings – after using the search term “swingers tarmonbarry”.

Swingers? In Tarmonbarry? Who knew?

Lock sizes on the Shannon Navigation

Some figures.

Royal Canal traffic in 1844

Royal Canal traffic in 1844 (Salt)

That table is extracted from Samuel Salt’s Statistics and Calculations essentially necessary to persons connected with railways or canals; containing a variety of information not to be found elsewhere 2nd ed Effingham Wilson and Bradshaw & Blacklock, London 1846, available from Messrs Google here.

The interesting point is how little of the Royal’s traffic travelled the whole way from the Shannon to Dublin or vice versa: only about 5% of the Dublin-bound traffic and less than 3% of the traffic westward.

Another point of interest is that traffic to Dublin was three times the traffic from Dublin.

Amongst the livestock, pigs were the dominant animals: they lost too much condition if they were walked long distances, which was the only alternative to canal transport before the railways came. Even there, I suspect that much of the tonnage described as “from Longford and the Shannon” was actually from west of the river, in Counties Mayo and Roscommon.

Weld eggs …

… on the Royal Canal.

Royal Canal steamers

According to Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary (1837),

The principal trade is in wool, for which this is the greatest mart in the county, its central situation and facility of communication with the Shannon and with Dublin having rendered it the commercial centre of a wide extent of country. The City of Dublin Steam Company commenced operations here in 1830: a steamer plies twice a week between this town and Shannon Harbour, where it meets the Limerick steamer and Grand Canal boat for Dublin.

It is interesting that the steamer went west and south (37 miles, 21 locks to the Shannon, then river, lake and river to Shannon Harbour), rather than directly eastward (52 miles, 25 locks) to Dublin, but its route would have enabled it to serve Longford, Tarmonbarry, Lanesborough and Athlone. Lewis, however, does not mention steamer services at any of those places other than Athlone.

More research required ….

Clondra Lock

The lock at Clondra may be the only one on the Shannon that is in the same place, and doing the same job, since the days of the Commissioners of Inland Navigation in the middle of the eighteenth century. The lock itself has been refurbished several times, and in recent years the lock furniture has been altered to make it impossible for boaters to work their own boats through it. But it has a very interesting collection of gear and it is well worth using, even if you’re not going to the Royal Canal at Richmond Harbour.

Fiat lux

Here is a page for photos in which the main interest is the light. More photos will be added in time.