Lough Derravaragh

According to the Ordnance Survey County Westmeath comprises an area of 386,251 statute acres of which 21,758 are occupied by water , hence it is easy to understand why the county is known as '' The Lakeland of Ireland ''. The Annals of the Four Masters state that in the Age of the World 2859 Loch Dairbhreach and Loch Ainminn in Meath sprang forth (the Age of the World 2859 corresponds with 2336 B.C.). Lough Derravaragh (or Loch Dairbhreach as Gaeilge meaning '' The Lake of the Oaks '' is located 10 kilometres north of the county town of Mullingar and 3.5 kilometers south of the town of Castlepollard.

Lough Derravaragh, sometimes known as Donore Lake, lies 210 feet above sea level and encompasses an area of 3,051 acres. The outline of the lake is winding and intricate; it is some 10 kilometres long and very narrow except at the north end where it widens out to circa 4 kilometres. At the northern end the lake feeds into the River Inny while at the southern end it nestles between three hills: Knockeyon, Knockbody and Knockross. In the 1700 and 1800s the area was extensively sheeted with wood. There was an abundance of ash, oak, birch, alder, holly and laburnum growing on the hills surrounding the lake. John O'Donovan in the Ordnance Field Name Books (1837-1838) states that according to tradition the lake was named after a daughter of the celebrated navigator and necromancer Manannan Mac Lir .

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