About Callan

Callan was founded by William the Marshal in 1207 and reputedly gets its name from the High King of Ireland, Niall Caille. It is reported that while at war with the Norsemen the High King arrived in Callan to find that its river was in flood. The King witnessed his servant trying to cross the river and being swept away by the fast flowing current.

The King, recorded in history as a man of action, seeing the impending disaster, impetuously urged his horse into the fast flowing river in a vain bid to save his servant, only to be also overcome and drowned by the torrent. The river in question is now named the “Kings River”.

Callan is the birthplace of some famous people, namely:

Places of interest

  • Callan Motte (The Moat), located at the top of Moat Lane just off Bridge Street, The Moat as it is locally known is one of Ireland’s best preserved Motte-and-bailey‘s.
  • Saint Marys, located on Green Street.
  • The Workhouse, located in Prologue, Callan
  • Callan Augustinian Friary, known locally as the “Abbey Meadow” can be found at the North East end of Callan and can be accessed via Bridge Street.