Towns of Laois
Mountmellick —County Laois
Founded in the seventeenth-century within a loop of the Owenass River, Mountmellick has always been a town associated with great industry and prosperity and in the late 18th century became known as the 'Manchester of Ireland'. From the start the town was dominated by the enterprise of the Quaker community and later served by the Grand Canal. Its enterprise is still exemplified by the Mountmellick Development Association, which commissioned the conversion of a grain mill into a Business Park/Enterprise Centre for industry wishing to locate in the town. The centre also houses a Quaker museum where the main focus is to conserve and display original pieces of Mountmellick work (embroidery) of which the town is renowned and to protect the memory of Mountmellick's rich Quaker industrial past. The Heritage Trail is a pleasure to follow. It is a pleasing town with a fine square, architecturally impressive houses, shops and ecclesiastical buildings.