Area History

Brief History of Clondra:
Clondra - Cluain Da Rath - Meadow of the two ringforts. Situated on the river Camlin terminal of the royal canal - 150 km long. The population is 551 (1996)

Richmond Harbour: Terminal of royal canal 47 locks from the Spencer Lock in Dublin to Richmond Harbour. Reputed to have cost £14,000. It took thirty years to complete. Many investors in the Royal Canal Company were ruined in the early years and eventually the government had to take over and complete the last 30 miles. Richmond Harbour was named after the Lord Lieutenant of the day who officially opened the harbour. Passenger Boat services operated between Dublin, Mullingar and Longford town.

In 1837, 46,450 people travelled on the canal. In 1845, the canal was acquired by Midland Great Westearn Railway. Thereafter, the canal traffic dwindled until principle functions were the supply of water to the pipes of railway stations along the route. During the "emergency" - W.W.II - the canal enjoyed a temporary revival as horse drawn turf boats were put into service between Dublin and Midland bogs. The last boat to trade on the canal was in July 1951.

The 6th of April 1966 saw the closure of the Royal Canal. The Royal Canal was officially re-opened on September 30th 2010 at Richmond Harbour in Clondra and is navigable from Spencer Dock in Dublin to Richmond Harbour in Clondra in Co Longford. When it was re-opened, people are now able to travel from Dublin to Cloondara by boats, bicycles and walking.

Richmond Mills (Formerly called Church Field Mills): Flourished as a corn mill from 1771 - 1837 when it was converted to a whiskey distillery. It produced between 70,000 to 80,000 gallons of whiskey every year, and employed 80 - 100 people. The mill reverted to grinding corn in 1843. It was still grinding corn in the 50's. In the early 1980's and 90's, it was used for curing hides and skins and employed over 100 people.

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