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Killiaha Kenmare Co Kerry Ireland: Ireland golf vacation, bed and breakfast, Ireland hotel, cottage, irish holiday cottage, rental cottage in Ireland, holiday rental home, self catering cottage in Ireland  
Tuatha Murtagh: Ireland golf vacation, bed and breakfast, Ireland hotel, cottage, irish holiday cottage, rental cottage in Ireland, holiday rental home, self catering cottage in Ireland

 

Kenmare Town

The name of Kenmare, “Ceann Mara”, means “Head of the Sea” as it sits at the head of the Kenmare River (Kenmare Bay on some maps), providing a perfect link between two scenic routes – The Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara.   The Celtic name “Neidin” which can be seen on signposts in the area means “Little Nest”. Geographically the town is set between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks (the highest in Ireland) and the Caha Mountains which form a border between County Kerry and County Cork.

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Kenmare is an historic market town with attractive limestone houses, colorful storefronts and a good variety of restaurants.  The Tourist Board, Bord Failte, officially recognized the historical, cultural and environmental significance of Kenmare by bestowing upon it the title of Kerry’s first “Heritage Town”.  Founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty, Cromwell’s surveyor-general, and an ancestor of the first Marquess of Lansdowne, the town was designed like a giant “X”, with two wide main streets. The most dramatic town view is from the top of Henry Street looking east. With interesting and unique store fronts lining the road, the steeple of Holy Cross Church captures your attention at the apex of your view.  The church, designed by architect Charles Hanson, an associate of the renowned Pugin, was completed in 1862.  Built on a cruciform plan, the main entrance is beneath the bell-tower and spire which is encased in copper.

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 Next to the church, a new school building stands on the former site of the Poor Clare’s Convent, a home where the famous “Nun of Kenmare” lived for 18 years. A prolific writer with strong views on the politics as well as the social and religious affairs of her time, a controversial Sr. Mary Frances Clare authored many books including “The Patriots History of Ireland” in 1869 and “A History of Kerry” in 1871. The Nuns taught in the schools with the mission that women were to be trained for service. The early syllabi show shirt making, crochet and several kinds of lace-making, in addition to the three Rs, geography and music. An exhibition of ancient and modern Kenmare lace is on display at the Kenmare Lace & Design Center. www.kenmarelace.ie  

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Kenmare Stone Circle on the north side of town is the largest stone circle in the south-west of Ireland where about 100 examples exist. Built during the Bronze Age (2,200 - 500 B.C.), it has in its center a type of burial monument known as a Boulder Dolmen.  These are rarely found outside of south-west Ireland. Nearby is Cromwell’s Bridge, a stone bridge built without mortar.  Its name derives from the Irish crombheal, meaning “moustache”, referring to its shape.

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