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Kerry Historical Ireland
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57 Historical Ireland in Kerry
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Carrigafoyle has had a stormy history and although wrecked by a series of bloody sieges, remains a remarkable castle. Cleverly located between the high and low water marks on the shore of the Shannon Estuary, it comprises a large tower built towards the end of the 15th century by the O'Connors of Kerry. The tower was protected on the landward side by two square bawns, an inner one with rounded turrets and an outer with square towers at the corners. These bawns extended into the water and enclosed a small dock, so that boats could sail right up to the castle - a rather useful if not unique feature....
A ringfort with a clay wall four feet high and lined with stones. Near the south side are the foundations of a beehive hut. The original entrance was probably on the west, and five stones still stand outside. Inside is an Ogham stone with tie inscription D....A.... AVI DALAGNI later superseded by EQQEGGNI MAQI MAQI-CARRATTINN....
Saint Brendan, the Navigator chose Ardfert to be the site of his monastery. Today you will find three medieval churches, an ogham stone and a number of early Christian grave slabs in the site. This is a fine example of an Irish medieval church.
Dating back to the 12th century examine the cathedrals west doorway which is Romanesque in design. Developments to the cathedral were continuous which can be seen with its magnificent 13th century east window and a spectacular row of nine lancets in the south wall. Two statues were added in the late 13th to early 14th century and are of ecclesiastical figures. These are mounted on either side of the east window. The battlements were added in the 15th century.
One of the smaller churches has been carefully restored and turned into a thriving visitors centre under the care of Duchas. Why not visit here and you will learn more about Saint Brendan, his monastery and about Ardfert....
A section of the famous Tralee to Dingle Light Railway (1891-1953), was restored to allow you to experience first hand the thrill of what it is like to be a passenger in a steam train. This is a must for adults and children alike.
It is advisable to contact prior to arranging your visit as the staem train is not always open to the public....
You are invited to relive The Court House Drama of being 'Sent Down' in the Bridewell of the 1830's. Follow the wretched life of Thomas Dillon as he is charged with wilful trespass. Spine chilling recreation with life size models.
YOU ARE SUMMONED TO STOP AND WITNESS....
A beautifully decorated cross-inscribed pillar standing in an old walled monastic enclosure, which also contains two smaller cross-slabs and the foundations of a number of beehive huts. Extensive excavations also revealed a 'founder's tomb' and a stone oratory preceded by a wooden structure....
The first monastery on this scenically situated island in Lough Leane is said to have been founded by St. Finian the Leper in the 7th century. It was twice plundered by the Vikings. Its most renowned monk, Maelsuthain O'Carroll, 'chief doctor of the Western world of his time' and a friend of the High King Brian Boru, died in 1009. It flourished in the 12th century until it was plundered in 1180 by Maiilduin, son of Donal O'Donoghue. However, it survived this shock and remained such a centre of learning that the Annals of Inisfallen - a most important historical source for the early history of Ireland - were written here around 1215. In 1320 it adopted the Benedictine rule. A 12th century oratory standing on a low cliff above the shore has a small round-headed east window and a Romanesque doorway decorated with animal heads in the west wall. A small carved cross found in the water near by stands inside. About 60 feet away are the remains of the Abbey. The western two-thirds of the Abbey church with antae and a (restored) flat-headed doorway belong to an early church....
The Franciscan Friary at Fair Hill was built on the site known as Martyr's Hill, a place of public execution in the 17th century. The stained glass window over the main entrance is by the famous Irish artist Harry Clarke and is said to be one of the finest in Ireland. The church also has a magnificent high altar, beautifully carved in wood....
The Franciscan Friary was founded in the 15th century and is in a remarkable state of preservation. The tower was added after the church was built and is the only Franciscan tower in Ireland which is as wide as the church. The cloister and its associated buildings are complete and an old Yew Tree stands in the centre. The monks were finally driven out by the Cromwellians in 1652.
There are guided tours available on request.
There is a public car park close to the site.
Average length of visit is 30 minutes.
Limited access for visitors with disabilities, guide dogs permitted....
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