On the plains of Tipperary 'The visitor is king'. No where is this more true than in Clonmel, Tipperary's capital and Ireland's largest inland town.
Situated on the banks of the River Suir, Clonmel has all the facilities that one would expect to find in a town of its size. It has always been regarded as the best shopping town in the South East of Ireland. Great strides have been taken in recent years to preserve the character of the shop fronts in the town to restore them to their former styles so favoured by visitors. The fact that Clonmel is a thriving shopping town is a reflection on the rich hinterland and good solid employment in the area.
Clonmel has a rich historical past. The earliest reference to Clonmel is c1185 when William Fitzadlem de Burgo was granted lordship of the manor. In 1319, Edward II authorised the raising of money to complete the town walls and fortifications. These walls withstood a three week siege by Cromwell in 1650. In the town there is Old St.Mary's Church of Ireland dedicated to Our Lady of Clonmel, and built in the 13th century. At the opposite end of the main street, O'Connell Street from the West Gate is the Main Guard built in 1674 as a Palletinate Court House.
There are many other interesting buildings including the Town Hall, Franciscan Friary, Court House as well as former churches which have been tastefully converted to other uses including the old Wesleyan which is now the White Memorial Theatre. The jail gate, of the famous Jail of Cluain Meala, still stands and has been tastefully added to to provide a functional building. This jail was the first and only Borstal institution in Ireland. St. Patrick's Well, with its medieval church, ancient stone cross and bubbling springs is also worth a visit.
Clonmel is very proud also of its literary past being the birthplace of Laurence Sterne and Marguerite Power, Countess of Blessington, and the one time residence of Anthony Trollope. Each September a literary weekend is held to honour this connection. Other places of interest include the County Museum in Parnell Street and Marlfield Lake wild bird sanctuary.