A new book tracing the history and life and times of Bagenalstown will be launched next week.
Titled ‘Bagenalstown: A Step Back in Time’, by Myles Kavanagh, it gives a glimpse of the history of the lives of the people and churches of Bagenalstown, wrapped around the stories of people, churches, land and buildings between the river Barrow and the Blackstairs Mountain Range.
This year marks the 225th anniversary of the celebration of the first Mass in St Andrew’s Church, Bagenalstown and the 176th year of St Mary’s Church Bagenalstown. The Methodist Church was built in Bagenalstown in 1806 and in the 1960s the building was sold and it became a private residence. The Walkerite Church had a short life of a few years in the town.
The Bishop of Wykeham (1324 – 1404) in England had his name given to a prominent building on the outskirts of Bagenalstown. The building is still a residence in the area. History began for the town of Bagenalstown in the aftermath of the visit of Oliver Cromwell to Ireland.
Henry Rudkin purchased 209 acres of land from the Bagenal family, built a mill and houses for his workers who came from his home county Rutland. They called the hamlet Washingtongreen. The people later changed the name to Bagenalstown.
The journey of the book is a step back into some past events of history and stories of Bagenalstown and its surroundings, which may be useful as a basic guide to the history and settlement of the town with the official name of 'Muine Bheag'.
The plan had been to hold an official event, with Maurice Manning Chancellor UCD and native of Bagenalstown lined up to launch the book in the town. But with the restrictions, it is not possible. The book will be launched by a simple announcement on Tuesday, October 13, and will be on sale from then onwards in local outlets.