Elephant grave Castlerea – Story of Cindy the elephant

Cindy the elephant

A elephant grave in Castlerea ?

Who is this Cindy the elephant? and why is she buried in the small town of Castlerea County Roscommon? I know right this sounds strange, so much so we decided to take a walk down to have a look and see what we could find out.

Walking the Castlerea Demesne

We often walk the demesne at Castlerea and wondered what this Elephant grave was all about. Recently the area has been upgraded and a elephant statue erected with seating areas with such a great little area it prompted us to look a bit further into the story behind why an elephant is buried in country Ireland.

The Elephant grave and memorial

The story of Cindy the elephant

There once was a circus elephant named Cindy who made a big impression when she visited Castlerea town in County Roscommon all the way back in 1958

In late June 1958 a local snapped this picture below of the elephant being parading and coming out of Stephen Mannion’s Bar right on the Main Street, Castlerea.

That famous picture of Cindy the elephant

This photo gained a lot of momentum and appeared in many newspapers over the country with a caption of ‘customers come in all shapes and sizes.’

Cindy the elephant passing

In 1972, unfortunately Cindy Passed, straight away the Castlerea Towns Trust offered a gravesite in The Demesne, and Cindy has been buried ever since.

In 2014, the gravesite was finally marked with a memorial stone. And In 2021 the area was cleared and as mentioned in a great tribute the site of the burial is now a lovely well maintained area to  visit.

The memorial site

The Memorial Stone

Cindy the Elephant

Gone to the Great Kingdom Beyond the Skies


The great trumpet silent

The end of a mammoth reign

Home at last in Castlerea

Entombed in its Demense.

Cindy’s grave

And that’s the story of when Cindy the elephant came to Castlerea and why she was buried there.

The Castlerea Demesne

As well this great site the Castlerea Demesne is a beautiful little area to explore with walking tracks, a fairy garden, music area and playground. The river suck also runs through this beautiful parkland.

Other County Roscommon Activities

Here are a few other Roscommon adventures we have been on.

You can find a few photos of this beautiful county on our Travel Through Ireland Twitter page.

By chalkandcheesetravels

We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far


  1. What a charming history of Cindy the elephant, and what a touching homage to the famed, four-legged animal. It’s unexpected to hear of elephants in Ireland (considering they’re not native to the country), but it makes for an interesting site to check out!

  2. So *that’s* the story of the elephant! I was wondering when you posted this on Instagram the other day. I love these little local factoids explaining memorials and the names of things.

  3. jansevilla – A quixotic nomadic chick and a writer by accident with some difficulty of having her subject agree to her verb.
    jansevilla says:

    What a fitting homage to the elephant that once captured the world’s imagination. I wonder what Cindy thought of the time when she stepped out of bar? #flyingbaguette

  4. wattwherehow – Bernie and Jess Watt are travel bloggers from Australia, living in NYC. Award winning copywriter by day (Bernie) and legal professional (Jess), casual photographers and hobbyist Vloggers in the making, our blog blends travel experiences from around the world with tips for those coming to NYC to live or vacation.
    wattwherehow says:

    I feel for the poor elephants in captivity – between circuses and curios. There was a tragic story of one at Coney Island in the 1800s that was eventually electrocuted 🙁 That river has a very unfortunate name ha ha.

  5. The things you learn on #TravelBlogTuesday. It’s the odd topic blogs that giev me the biggest laughs and smiles. THXS for posting.

  6. When I read the title I expected something more dramatic – an elephant died at this site, or an elephant being liberated from a brutal circus owner, or something along the lines :)) But thankfully, it’s just a charming story and no elephant was actually injured! :))

  7. Such a cute story, love that pub picture. I learned something new (besides Cindy the Elephant) – I had to look up the word Demense. So an educational and entertaining piece!

  8. kasiawrites – Kasiawrites Cultural Travel Blog is about adventure, exploration and discovery with a focus on responsible travel. An exciting way of learning about the world as well as self-reflection and personal freedom. A place for curious travellers, looking for new experiences, discovering new things and learning something new along the way.
    kasiawrites says:

    That’s a lovely tribute to Cindy! I hope she was treated well during her life.

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