Charleville is a busy market town situated in the heart of rich agricultural land. The present town was founded in 1621 by Roger Boyle. However before that time there were settlements on either side of the present town. The coming of the railway led to increased prosperity and the town rapidly increased in size. Although the population reached a peak of about six thousand in the nineteenth century it declined rapidly as a result of the famine and emigration. The town had many narrow alleyways and the entrances to many of these are still visible.