Mullingar was one of the ancient palatinate towns founded by the Normans. In 1227 a priory was founded there by the Canons Regular of St. Augustine.
The Dominicans also started a foundation there about the same time. Today the town is a thriving commercial centre and is the centre of probably the best cattle raising district in the country.
It is encircled by the Royal Canal which with its 46 locks links dublin with the River Shannon. The cost of building the canal bankrupted its investors and it was never profitable.
The town contains some early 19th century style architecture and is dominated by the cathedral, dedicated in 1939, and imposing renaissance-style structure. The two towers of the cathedral are 42.6 m high and surmounted by gilt bronze crosses; over the main door there is some fine carved stonework by the late Albert Power, R.H.A.
The great mosaics of St. Patrick and St. Anne, near the high altar, are by Boris Anrep and are in the great tradition of Rome and Ravenna; the cathedral has an interesting ecclesiastical museum.
Other buildings of note are All Saints Church, erected in 1816, the recently restored market house which houses the local museum and the town library.
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