Goldsmith Country


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Statue of Goldsmith at Ballymahon Community Library

Edgeworthstown: The Goldsmith Trail starts in Longford town and proceeds to Edgeworthstown via the N4 in the direction of Dublin. It was in Edgeworthstown that Goldsmith attended school for three years until the age of 16 when he entered Trinity College as a sizar (servant) and worked to serve others in return for tutelage.

Ardagh Heritage Village: From Edgeworthstown, take the N55 going southwards to reach Ardagh Heritage Village. Ardagh featured in Goldsmiths famous comedy play ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ immortalising a comedic incident in which Goldsmith, upon visiting Ardagh House, mistook it for an Inn and the daughters of the house for servant girls and attempted to seduce them. Ardagh House, once the property of the Featherstone family who commissioned the building of Ardagh Village, is now in private ownership of a local family.

Ballymahon: From Ardagh take the R393 and then connect with N55 to Ballymahon. The town of Ballymahon hosts the annual Goldsmith Literary Festival and Summer School. There are references to the author in several spaces around the town. The Bog Lane Theatre and Ballymahon Library hold the events for the Literary Festival. The Goldsmith statue in the town provides the meeting point for those wishing to complete ‘The Goldsmith Trail’.

Pallas and Forgney Church: Outside the town of Ballymahon, near to Newcastle Demesne, lies Pallas, the site of the Goldsmith family home where Oliver Goldsmith was born, and Forgney, the site of the village church where Goldsmith was baptised. There remains a memorial window to the author within this church.

The Pigeons & Lissoy: Further south along the N55, in the direction of Athlone, is the Pigeons. The ruins of the Goldsmith family residence is to be found in this area as well as Lissoy parsonage, the school house and Busy Mill. It was to Lissoy that the family moved in 1730 and here that Oliver Goldsmith attended village school under the tutelage of Thomas Byrne. Further along the N55 is the area referred to as ‘Sweet Auburn’ in Goldsmiths works. Located to the left in this area is the Hawthorn Bush and remains of the Alehouse.

The Decent Church: Continuing toward Glasson Village and taking a left at Auburn crossroads brings the driver to the site of The Decent church which is located in Kilkenny West and is the location where Rev Charles Goldsmith was curate.

Glasson: Glasson is a picturesque village in Co Westmeath and an area which was well known to Goldsmith and his family.

Irish Times Article