County Fermanagh

Belleek Pottery

Belleek Pottery was founded in 1857.  The pearly white china it produces is known as Parian ware and is known all over the world.  They are famous for delicate lattice work, fragile flowers and elaborate work.  There is a museum here, a video presentation and shop.  


Enniskillen is built on an island between Upper and Lower Lough Erne.  

Castle Coole

This Neo-Classical house lies just outside the town overlooking a lake.  It has a stone facade of Portland stone, a central portico and small pavilions at each end.  The house was commissioned in the 1790's by the first Earl of Belmore, and the design was by Richard Johnston an Irish architect. Later he got a second set of drawings from James Wyatt, who was a popular English architect.   The stone was imported from England, and from Galway and Donegal and a lot of the fixtures and fittings were also sent over from England.  It cost so much that when the Earl died  in 1802, he was almost bankrupt. His son, the second Earl  finished the decorating and so on in the 1820's.  Much of the houses treasures are still in place, from family portraits, to a bed made for George IV  on his visit to Ireland in 1821. In the end he never slept in it though.  
One of the best rooms at the back of the house, is the ballroom, or Oval saloon.  It has an oak floor, Regency furniture, all gilded, and heavy curtains.

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Cole Monument

On the east side of the town is a park which contains this tall doric column with a spiral staircase inside.  The views from the top of the lake country make the climb worthwhile.

Enniskillen Castle

The castle which now houses a heritage centre, dates back to the 15th century.  It has a twin turreted tower, or Watergate, which is a very picturesque sight.

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Portora Royal School

The school was  founded in 1618.  Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde both went there.

Florence Court

This wonderful three storey Palladian mansion was built for the Cole family in the 18th century.    William Cole, first Earl of Enniskillen later added the arcades and pavilions, in around  1770.  the house has Rococo plasterwork by Robert West , who was a well known Dublin plasterworker, or stuccodore.  Sadly a lot of it was damaged in a fire in 1955 so most of what you see is restoration work.  
There are beautiful grounds, with nature trails and walks.  the gardens contain the famous Florence Court Yew tree, whose descendants are to be found all over Ireland.

Marble Arch Caves

These caves are a very popular tourist attraction.  They are cut out of the rock by three streams which flow down Cuilcagh Mountain and unite underground where they have carved out these caves and emerge as the Cladagh River.   The tours which are quite long, take tourists on a boat ride deep into the cave system.  There are lots of amazing stalagmites and staligtights to see.  It is always cool underground whatever the weather, so bring a sweater.  It is also best to ring in advance because the caves are affected by rain.  The Marble Arch itself is actually outside of the cave system, in the glen where the river comes out.

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