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The Royal Canal is reputed to have cost £14,000 and it took thirty years to complete. Many investors in the Royal Canal Company were ruined in the early years of the project and eventually the government had to take over and complete the last 30 miles.
Clondra is the village where it terminates.
Richmond Harbour was named after Lord Lieutenant of the day who officially opened the harbour.
Passenger Boat services operated between Dublin, Mullingar and Longford.
In 1837, 46,450 people travelled on the canal.
In 1845, the can was acquired by Midland Great Western Railway.
Thereafter, the canal traffic dwindled until principle functions were the supply of water to the pipes of railway stations along the route.
During the “emergency” – WWII – the canal enjoyed a temporary revival as horse drawn turf boats were put into service between Dublin and Midland bogs.
The last boat to trade on the canal was in July 1951.
The 6th of April 1966 saw the closure of the Royal Canal. The old stone mill with its weir and millpond is another fine building.
Several ancient slab stones and a 12th century water font can be seen outside the church.
Richmond Mills, formerly called Church Field Mills, flourished as a corn mill from 1771 – 1837 when it was converted to a whiskey distillery.
It produced between 70,000 to 80,000 gallons of whiskey every year, and employed 80 – 100 people.
The mill reverted to grinding corn in 1843.
It was still grinding corn in the 50′s.
In the early 1980′s and 90′s, it was used for curing hides and skins and employed over 100 people.
There is alate 12th century Abbey in the church grounds but there is evidence to suggest lower part of walls and the foundations are the remains of an even earlier church, possibly 9th century.
Parts of the south end indicate re-building was done here.
It is possible it was the church of a monastic settlement.