Despite its length, the river is only crossed by twenty bridges, three of which are in Limerick and the oldest of which is the Shannon Bridge in County Offaly. The image above depicts a stone-built, multi-arched bridge that was finished in 1757. It connects Tulla to Ardrahan, and it's called the Old Stone Bridge because of its distinctive design.
The first bridge across the Shannon was a ford constructed out of timber. It was built around 700 BC by the Irish who lived along the river at the time. The structure was destroyed by fire but was then rebuilt using limestone from local quarries. This made it possible for farmers to transport grain down to the sea without having to use horses or carts which would have been difficult in such early times before the invention of vehicles.
The Old Stone Bridge is one of the few remaining ancient crossings of Europe's longest river. Its age can be estimated by scientists using methods such as tree-ring analysis and carbon dating. They know that the bridge was built between 1450 and 1750 and it's believed that it may even be older than it appears. For example, archaeologists think that parts of it may have been built using materials found during excavations of old timber settlements dating back to about 1000 BC.
The Old Stone Bridge is registered as a historic monument by the government body in charge of protecting our cultural heritage (the Office of Public Works).
The River Shannon is Ireland's longest river, beginning in northeastern County Cavan and running south for roughly 161 miles (259 kilometres) to meet the Atlantic Ocean via a 70-mile (113-kilometer) estuary below Limerick City. It is also one of the world's most important rivers for agriculture.
It is generally accepted that the River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland. However, the government publication "Maps of Ireland" states that this isn't true because there are actually two longer rivers in Ireland: the Liffey and the Blackstairs Mountains. The Shannon is described as being almost twice as long as the Liffey and more than three times as long as the Blackstairs Mountains combined.
In addition, the maps say that the Shannon is also the highest flowing river in Europe. This is because the source of the Shannon is in the Irish mountains and it flows through some of the highest peaks in Europe before reaching the sea. The average flow of the Shannon is about 400 million cubic meters (14 billion ft3 ) per year but it can reach higher rates of flow when rain falls in the mountains.
Looking at just the length of the river itself, the Shannon is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) long. But since it runs through mountainous terrain, it contains many smaller streams which when added together equal its total length.
The River Shannon-an tSionainn in Irish Gaelic-is Ireland's longest river, stretching 240 kilometres. The Shannon River begins in the Cuilcagh Mountains of County Cavan and flows south to its 70-mile estuary just outside the city of Limerick before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.
It is often referred to as the "Queen of Rivers" due to its importance to Ireland's agricultural industry. The Shannon Valley provides over one-fifth of Ireland's food production while its ports serve as hubs for livestock shipping and distribution.
In addition to being a source of income and employment, the agriculture industry also has an impact on the environment through practices such as flood mitigation and water conservation. Changes to farming methods have led to a decrease in erosion and soil degradation since the 1960s. However, there is still work to be done in these areas.
The Shannon River Basin covers 8,000 square miles across six counties (Cavan, Clare, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, and Tipperary) in central-western Ireland. It is a major agricultural region where almost one-third of the population lives in rural areas. Over 75% of the basin is used for agriculture with cattle ranching being the most common practice. The remaining area is covered by forest or otherwise undeveloped.
The river flows around 223 miles in total, draining the Shannon River basin, which spans over one-fifth of Ireland's entire geographical area. The River Barrow flows for around 120 kilometers. It joins the Shannon near Limerick.
The Shannon is a major river in Ireland, and the largest by volume after the Nore. It runs for about 220 miles from its source in the Irish Mountains to its estuary in County Clare, Ireland. The longest section of the river is known as the Great Loop. It forms a natural boundary between counties Clare and Galway.
The Shannon was important to early settlers because it provided power for mills and irrigation systems. Today, it is most famous for its salmon and trout fishing.
The name "Shannon" comes from the Irish language word shonnangar, meaning "shiner of gold". This refers to the color of the water during summer months when algae causes it to glow green or blue-green.
During World War II, German soldiers used the river as a defensive line against Allied attacks. The Battle of the Shannons took place along this part of the river in August 1944. It was one of the last battles of the European campaign of that year.
The Limerick Vikings were beaten by the Dublin Vikings on Lough Ree in 937. The Shannon was an important strategic asset in military engagements in Ireland in the 17th century, since it established a physical barrier between the country's east and west. It also provided waterborne transportation, which was vital for trade and communication across Europe at that time.
The Shannon has been important to Ireland's history because it has provided security from invasion and helped unite the country through sports events.
Shannon FéLinn (the Blue Flag) was awarded in 1972 and has been held annually since then. It is now one of only two flags flown at national level - the other being the Irish Tricolour. The Shannons' international status was confirmed in 2003 when it was selected as one of the nine venues for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Shannon FéLinn means "Blue Flag" in English. It is named after the blue-green color of the water and reflects Ireland's first ever Olympic gold medal won by Irelands' sailing team in 1996.
At the time of its establishment, Ireland had no national flag so the Royal Academy of Arts in London designed Shannons' Félinn based on suggestions from members of the public.
Mellows Bridge (formerly Queens Bridge), built in 1764 on the site of Arran Bridge, which was devastated by floods in 1763, is the oldest bridge still standing. The Ha'penny Bridge, erected in 1816, was the first iron bridge. Farmleigh Bridge, also made of iron, was erected near the end of a tunnel in 1872 to connect Farmleigh Estate to Palmerstown.
It runs for approximately 125 kilometers (78 miles) across the counties of Wicklow, Kildare, and Dublin. At the midpoint of Dublin Bay, it empties into the Irish Sea. The majority of its length is in Kildare. There are several tributaries to the Liffey (rivers that flow into it). The King's River, the River Dodder, the River Poddle, and the River Camac are among its significant tributaries.