Lisnaskea. A Brief History
Lisnaskea derives from the Gaelic “lios na sceithe” which translates as “The Ring Fort of the Shield”. Fir Managh – the Men of Managh can be traced to a small settlement near Lisnaskea in the second century AD. This is predated by the “Moate”, a four thousand year old burial site above the town, and which was subsequently used from the middle of the thirteenth century by the Maguires, the then kings of Fermanagh, as a location for the crowning of their kings. To the south of the town, at Aghalurcher, there remains the ruins of an old monastery, associated with St. Ronan, who died some time before 635AD. The adjoining graveyard contains many interesting vaults and tombstones. Of much interest to historians is the Medieval road, which traverses the present town and was part of the original route, linking the Maiden City of Derry to the Capital, Dublin.
During the Plantation of Ulster, Sir James Balfour commenced the building of Castle Balfour about 1615. The castle is of great historical significance, featuring frequently in the 1641 Rebellion,and largely survived until 1893, when it caught fire and part collapsed.
The fine stone buildings within the town were erected by the landlord, the Earl of Erne, some 150 years ago, and in 1919 these properties were transferred to the stewardship of the Fairs and
Markets Committee. In the centrally located Corn Market the town motto “Live and Let Live” is carved on the central pediment. Also located here is the Celtic Cross. The central shaft or “Barter
Stone” was once the vehicle for swearing oaths, where deals were clinched, and where lovers exchanged their vows of life-long loyalty and fidelity.