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