Birr is one of Ireland’s premier heritage towns with a long and interesting history. Turning back the clock to the elegance of the Georgian era, Birr has stayed true to its 18th and 19th Century character, with tree-lined malls and avenues and wonderful Georgian Architecture.
The narrow main streets retain their beautiful shop fronts. There are also two churches and a Wesley Chapel built in the gothic style. Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre is a must see.
Birr was the site of the 6th century monastery of St. Brendan. In the early 9th centry the monastery was at the height of its power and a scribe named Macregol wrote and illuminated a manuscript while based there. The Macgregol Gospel Book is also known as the Book of Birr and showed up centuries later in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
In 2006, Birr Historical Society obtained a fascimile of the book from the Bodleian Library to display freely in Birr library in the restored Gothic Revival building.
Modern day Birr town has many Georgian-style houses and is also home to Birr Castle Demesne, which was developed by the Parsons family over the last four hundred years. A main feature on the grounds of the castle is the Great Telescope which was, until 1917, the largest telescope in the world. The gardens and science centre are open year round to the public.
Why not take a walk along the riverbank or explore the town. See the Cumberland Pillar in Emmet Square, the Manchester Martyrs monument in Market Square and the Rosse Memorial on John’s Mall.
Great range of accommodation, restaurants, cafés and shopping available with public on-street parking.
Be sure to visit Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre.
Birr is just 35 minutes north of Nenagh and is located at the junction of the National Routes, N62 and N52
Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland
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It is always advisable to check the opening dates and times of any attraction or business you intend to visit. Check their website or give them a call.