The deserted Medieval town of Rindoon is situated on a peninsula on the western shore of Lough Ree about nine miles north of Athlone. In 1227 Geoffrey Marisco erected a castle here on behalf of King Henry III of England. At its height, the population of Rindoon is estimated at about 1000 people, a considerable number, for the period. (The population of London was approx 20,000). Rindoon is last mentioned in 1342/3 when it was described as being in Irish hands. In 1605/6 it was granted to Edward Crofton as an estate.
Once referred to as “Camelot on the Shannon” one of the most important medieval town sites in Ireland has recently found a new lease of life. Six hundred and fifty years after it was destroyed and forgotten, St. John’s Parish Heritage Group has facilitated the restoration and conservation of the Medieval town walls, hospital, windmill and parish church. In addition, a looped walk has been constructed which has opened up this tranquil farmland peninsula to the interested visitor. From a few dozen academic visitors a year in 2007 to 6,500 visitors in the year 2011, Rindoon is a cultural tourism treasure, just waiting to be explored.
- Every Trail: Warren Point looped walk of Rinn Dúin
- Facebook: Rinn Dúin (Rindoon)
- Visit Roscommon: Rindoon and St John’s Castle
- Athlone Live!: The ancient ghost town of Rindoon
- Westmeath Independent: Historic building stabilised at Rindoon
Editor’s Note: I was absolutely enchanted by my visit to Rindoon. The picturesque shoreline of the peninsula had cattle and sheep grazing all around and added to the atmosphere, and the second part of the walk (Warren Point) offers a wonderful forested trail with openings looking onto Lough Ree. Although visited by locals, Rindoon lies off the tourist route and the path can be rough and/or muddy at various points (and watch out for sheep poo 😉
Submitted by Liam Byrne
Liam is a member of St. John’s Parish Heritage Group, a voluntary, community based organization from Lecarrow in South Roscommon. Founded in July 2002 with the aim of promoting and developing local heritage in it’s widest sense, the Group celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012. In May the Group was presented with an Athlone Rehab “People of the Year” Award for “putting heritage at the core of a local community”.