King William, Roscommon

The central, scenic garden setting of the Pleasure grounds in Boyle, County Roscommon provides a recreational resource for the community as well as a tourist attraction. Also part of the grounds aesthetic appeal is that in its centre it possesses a stone plinth which once supported a statue of King William 111. It was moved to there from Boyle bridge after a new bridge was erected. An inscription “to the immortal memory of the glorious K.William 111, this statue & pier were erected at the expense of Sir Edward King Bar. July 1, 1763”  is one side and “On building the bridge of Boyle in 1834 this statue of the true friend of civil and religious liberty was taken down and placed in its present position by Robert Edward Viscount Lorton grandson of the Baronet A.D. 1835” inscribed on the opposite side. Mystery surrounds the disappearance of the statue, however, artefacts such as this plinth are integral to the recognition of our shared heritage of this country.

The importance of the preservation of this cultural monument for future generations should not be underestimated. Interestingly the grounds located on the Boyle river are closely linked with the nearby historic ‘King House’ as it was once part of the King family estate. This stately building was the home of the Connaught Rangers Regiment from 1788 to 1922. In the 1990s, King House was in danger of being pulled down to make way for a car park.Thankfully it was valued for its architectural significance and was comprehensively restored, reopened and accommodates an interpretive centre which also houses the Connaught Rangers museum. A visit to this attraction and it¹s appealing area is highly recommended. Other Williamite links in Boyle¹s historic past is that followers of King William from Enniskillen defeated Jacobite forces in September 1689. Also, Thomas Lloyd a Williamite cavalry commander in North Connaught and prominent in the Siege of Athlone was the son of a Roscommon farmer.