Rathangan is a small town with a population of approximately 1200 and is located about 9 miles from Kildare Town .
Rathangan attracts numerous anglers to it's fine stretches of water. There is plenty of opportunity for walking and fishing. Parachuting takes place at Clonbullogue , west of the town.
Rathangan gets its name from 'Iomghains Rath', the remains of which still can be seen at the top of the town. Rathangan was originally within the borders of the neighbouring King's County (now County Offaly), principally belonging to the Duke of Leinster. Rathangan suffered much upheaval during the 1798 rebellion and it is said that a bitter conflict took place between the insurgents and the troops, under Colonel Longfield, who slaughtered 42 of the inhabitants and hanged twelve. Much of the present town developed after 1784 when the Grand Canal was built on its way south to Monasterevin and Athy. The town's elegant proportions come from the layout and design of houses originally built for canal engineers and the presence of the larger houses of the gentry, including the former hunting lodge of the Dukes of Leinster.
During the 14th century Rathangan was mentioned in records on account of a visit by Edward Bruce in 1315, and in 1331 because the young earl of Kildare died there; seven years later fourteen knights were dubbed there. A joyous occasion at Rathangan, in the mid-15th century, was an entertainment of brehons, poets, bards, harpers and musicians from all over Ireland on the Feast of the Assumption 1433. Margaret O'Connor was hostess to the great assembly of musicians, and when she died 'of a sore in her breast' in 1451 she was praised for her hospitality and her patronage of such public works as road and bridge building
Things To Do
Overlooked by the Hill of Allen lies an oasis in the heart of the bog. Come to Peatland World and explore the secrets of the bog's plant and animal life, then trace the history of the boglands in the visitor centre. Sit at an old Irish fireside and experience how our ancestors lived and cut the turf in by-gone days through a variety of photographic displays and the collection of artefacts from the past in the Peatland Museum. All groups are catered for and it is open all year. Facilities include a coffee shop and souvenir shop.
Lullymore is a small mineral island that gently rises from the Bog of Allen and has a population of less than 200 people. Set on 13 acres in the heart of Lullymore, the Heritage Park sweeps across 9,000 years of Irish history. The Heritage Park is an attempt to capture and preserve for posterity, a flavour of the lives and times of those who lived there in the past centuries. There is a fairy garden containing tiny houses which is a huge attraction for children and there are life size Crannogs scattered throughout the woods. The Zodiac Garden is divided into different signs of the zodiac, each sign is represented by it's own flower and is written in Ogham- ancient Celtic writing. Other facilities include the theme garden, re-enactments and nature walks, candle making, craft and souvenir shops and a picnic area.
Situated just 6 miles from Rathangan is Pollardstown Fen. Pollardstown Fen is of international importance as this type of system is now rare in Ireland and Western Europe. In addition it contains a number of rare vegetation types and invertebrates, along with an uninterrupted pollen record of the changes in the composition of its vegetation going back to the last ice age. The area of the Fen is 220 hectares, 60% of which is state owned. Open to the public