Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Clonmel (Cluain Meala in Irish) is a medium-sized town situated in south County Tipperary, Ireland. It lies in a valley, surrounded by mountains and hills. The Comeragh Mountains are to the south, while east of the town is Slievenamon . The River Suir flows through the town.
Clonmel was built up significantly in medieval times, and many remainders of this past can be found in the town itself. A small section of the town walls, which once encircled Clonmel, remains in place. One of the former entry points into the town is now the site of the 'West Gate', a 19-th century construction. Oliver Cromwell, who is infamous in Ireland but respected in Britain, laid siege to the town in 1650. The walls were eventually breached, but not without heavy losses on Cromwell's side.
The town has always been an important centre of trade and commerce. The river had been made navigable as far as Clomel in the 1760s and completion of the River Suir Navigation in the 19th century allowed large vessels to reach the town's quays. Charles Bianconi, onetime mayor of Clonmel, ran his pioneering public transport system of horse-drawn carriages from the town. The Waterford and Limerick Railway opened a station in the town in 1848. In recent times Clonmel has become the home to many large multi-national companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical area. Bulmers cider is brewed in the town.
Old St Mary's church is one of the main architectural features of the town. Like many churches in Ireland , it was originally constructed many hundreds of years ago (possibly in the 13th century or earlier) but has been reconstructed or renovated on numerous occasions. The church was fortified early in its history, the town being strategically important for first the Earls of Ormonde , and later the Earl of Kildare. Some fortified parts of the church were destroyed or damaged during the Cromwellian occupation.
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