At the turn of the nineteenth century there was constant fear in England and Ireland of a possible invasion by General Napoleon Bonaparte. As well as the 50 or so Martello towers that were built along the coast many buildings were also built along the Shannon River to protect against a possible invasion from the west coast. This odd and unique looking building is the Old Fort at Shannonbridge which was built at a strategic location on the Shannon River. Other fortifications along the Shannon were built from Portumna to Athlone. The Fort has had many uses over the last 200 years from being a home to the military to a family business and family home during the 20th century and now has been painstakingly restored over the last seven years by its proprietors Fergal and Linda Moran into a wonderful restaurant. The village of Shannonbridge has one of the Shannon’s oldest bridges (1757) and the monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise is some 7 km upriver.