Things to Do & See in Granard.
Built in 1785. Oddly located on a gently sloping site at a right angle to the main street, indicating perhaps that the single-street town plan is a product of the late Georgian period. The classic Georgian market building, two storeys with a low hipped roof, arcaded throughout the ground floor, with regular sash windows on the upper storey. Rendered, with corner quoins and C19 drip-mouldings to the arches and windows. Built by the McCartneys; by the mid C19 it was the property of the Greville family. nnDescribed in 1889 as a disgraceful old building; it was refurbished C1980 and now functions as a branch library.
This Motte is a very ancient structure that was erected some time before the Danish era. The Motte is a great flat-topped earthen mound, on top of which would have been a timber tower surrounded by a palisade. Across the base was a U-shaped bailey, an enclosure surrounded by a palisade ditch. Animals and soldiers were housed in the bailey. It is very strongly fortified except on the southern side, which seems to have been guarded solely by the deep trench on the summit, out of which defenders fired arms and hurled stone missiles at the approaching enemy. Richard de Tuite occupied it in 1199 as part of an initiative to extend Norman control over the country. Standing 534 ft above sea level it is reputed to be the highest Motte in Ireland. The summit affords a view of five lakes, parts of nine counties and faint outline of the Sliabh Bloom Mountains. Many myths are attached to the Motte, some say there is a castle concealed within it, others say it contains vast treasures of gold, while others maintain the hollow in the centre was a grain store.
St Marys Church.
Built in 1867 by John Bourke. A good building that is made better by its splendid setting at the top of the towns main street, with the great Norman motte behind it. A prime instance both of skilful Victorian stage management and of the great confidence of the Irish Catholic Church in the mid C19. The effect is deceptive, accentuating the height of the church and thus exaggerating its overall size. St Marys, though tall, is in fact quite a small building, a short four-bay nave with two-bay transepts and a short chancel. The tower which flanks the south transept is four storeys high, with tapering corner buttresses, a double-louvred belfry and a broach spire with lucarnes. Built of sneaked limestone rubble with punched and ashlar trim. The detail is largely E.E. and exceptionally fine. A group of graded lancets and niches fills the entrance gable, framed by thin stone colonnettes. Cusped lancets in threes and pairs light the aisles and transept, and the east window consists of five cusped lights with geometric tracery. Nice clerestory with paired cusped lancets set in deep embrasures, framed by twin pointed arches on stone colonnettes, giving the effect of the classic E.E. galleried clerestory. nnThe roof, a dominant feature of the interior, is an elaborate structure of hammerbeams and cross-braces, with decorative carved openwork.
St. Patricks Church.
This site, close to the Motte, was originally the site of Catholic worship in Granard. The present building is thought to have been built in the early part of the 18th century. Various alterations including a belfry (before 1836) and restoration work have been made, the most recent being in 1980. A Glebe House was built close to the Church in 1825 at a cost of f 1015-7-8, it was a large two-storied house with basement. This was inhabited by the various Vicars of the Church until 1940 and demolished in 1959.