History

Shannonbridge gets its name from its bridge connecting county Offaly and county Roscommon. Rachra is generally considered the old name for Shannonbridge, but 'Shannonbridge' was adopted after the building of the bridge in 1757. It is said that the military initially constructed a village, the 'first Shannonbridge', in the vicinity of Temple Duff graveyard just south of the power station (it can be seen in the 25 inch map). The name Temple Duff is probably an anglicised version of Teampaill Dei - 'Church of God'. Like many other early Christian sites, Temple Duff eventually became a burial site for unbaptised children. The tracks of 14 houses and the remains of a stage or post chase are located in the area. In the 1950's in Shannonbridge a ridge of grass ran along the centre of the street. Bord na Mona's first office was in the establishment now known as Maisies' bar. Originally there were only three people in this office. At Curleys Island between Shannonbridge and Clonmacnoise, we encounter the legendary ford of Snamh da Ean (swim two Birds). It was here that a proselytising St. Patrick crossed the Shannon into Connacht and much later the Anglo-Normans considered the ford important enough to be guarded by one of their campaign forts. Accordingly, they constructed the great Motte of Clonburren on the Roscommon side of the river, within sight of an even then declining early Christian nunnery, which is presumed locally to have been founded by St. Patrick.

Follow the links at the top to read more about the history, geography and people of our Village

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