began in the early 1600s after Sir John King built his great house
on the old Curlew Pass. Prior to that the only town in the area
was that mentioned in the Annals on Lough Key as “the town
called the Rock”. Although Boyle Abbey had been there since 1161
a group of less than 300 people lived there.
the arrival of the Mail Coach which brought with it modern
progress. A census twenty years later showed that the population
had grown to 1009; the town contained 200 houses and a shopping
area from the bridge along Green St. The business premises
amounted to six shops, one distillery and three breweries.
had shown no details of Main St. or the road from Carrick on
Shannon which had entered from Clover Hill( The Crescent).
Bridge was built in 1846 for the sum of £500, it replaced a five
arch model which was liable to flood in the winter. A statue of
William III, erected in 1754 was removed to the Pleasure Grounds
from where it disappeared one night in the 1930’s.
Boyle had grown to over 519 houses of with 423 were thatched.
Clover Hill had undergone great change with the erection of the
Courthouse and the terrace of two storey houses which give the
Crescent its name.
train steamed into the town in 1862 from Longford on its way to
Sligo. Two years later the streets became gas lit, these were
replaced in 1901 by Hugh Stewart. Yet another modern technology to
be added to the town was the Cinema which opened in the New
Courthouse in 1898.
In 1875 the
Sisters of Mercy arrived and setup Boyle first real school.
Although other schools had existed on Clover Hill and Green St.
these were small and poor. In September 2002 Boyles new state of
the art Community College, Abbey College will open its doors,
bringing education in Boyle into the 21st century.
Some of the
oldest businesses in the town are still with us. Feelystone,
Greatmeadow have been cutting stone in the area for over 200
years. The Roscommon Herald has been running since 1859 and began
under the name ‘The
Roscommon Herald and Boyle and Leitrim News’. The Royal
Hotel has serve the town since 1782.