Welcome to Kenmare

One of the most idyllic places in Ireland
. ©www.kenmare.ie . ©www.kenmare.ie

History & Heritage Highlights

Kenmare Heritage Trail brochure with map is the best way to explore the whole of this beautiful estuary with the pier, the town and the 200 year old parklands on the headland jutting into the broad expanse of Kenmare Bay. To appreciate the visual and historic heritage, download this brochure now or pick it up at Kenmare Tourist and Heritage Centre, Courthouse Building, Town Square.

 

1. FAIR GREEN

Fairs and markets were held frequently. The triangular green was enclosed in the last century and remains the property of the Derreen Estate, formerly the Lansdowne Estate.

2. ROSE COTTAGE

Rose Cottage (Tigín na Rós) and the house adjacent to it formed the temporary home of Abbess Mary O’Hagan and six nuns from the Poor Clare Convent.

3. HOLY CROSS CHURCH

Kenmare’s Holy Cross Church was consecrated in 1864. The architect was Charles Hansom.

4. KENMARE POOR CLARE CONVENT

This building was a convent of the Sisters of Poor Clare from 1862 to 1993. The Convent was the home of Sister Mary Francis Cusack, the Nun of Kenmare from 1862 until 1881.

5. MAIN STREET

Main Street was formerly named William Street in honour of the 1st Marquis of Lansdowne, William Petty-Fitzmaurice who was raised in Lixnaw, County Kerry, was Prime Minister of England in 1781. The Marquis designed the plans upon which Kenmare developed in the 1770’s.

6. KILLOWEN CHURCH

Killowen Church of Ireland dates to 1814 and was built in a Georgian Gothic Revival style. Internationally renowned composer Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950) was buried here in 1950.

7. LANSDOWNE ARMS HOTEL

This hotel was built as an Inn in the 1790’s and was named after the Lansdowne Family, the landlords of the estate and founders of Kenmare. In the nineteenth century the hotel benefitted from the growth of the Bantry-Killarney tourist route and was a stopping-off point for cars on organised excursions.

8. HENRY STREET

This street was named in honour of the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne, Henry Petty – Fitzmaurice (1780-1863), who oversaw a number of major stages in the development of Kenmare.

9. THE OLD MARKET HOUSE

This three storey Classical style building was designed by renowned English architect Sir Charles Barry for the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne. 

 

10. EMMET’S PLACE / MARKET STREET

This lane, formerly Pound Lane, was the location of the cattle pound. During the nineteenth century many of Kenmare’s tradesmen, such as leatherworkers, blacksmiths and tinsmiths, lived here. The change of name from Pound Lane to Emmet’s Place took place in the early twentieth century and signifies the developing nationalist ethos of Kenmare at that time.

11. KENMARE STONE CIRCLE

This is the biggest stone circle in the south-west of Ireland. In the centre of the circle is a type of burial monument known as a Boulder Burial. These are rarely found outside of southwestern Ireland.

12. CROMWELL’S BRIDGE

The antiquity of this bridge is unknown. Local lore believes it was built in circa the 11th century.

13. OUR LADY’S WELL

Our Lady’s Well is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady’s Well is visited by devotees throughout the year but on the fifteenth of August special pilgrimages take place.

14. KENMARE PIER

Kenmare Pier is set within Kenmare River (locally known as Kenmare Bay) – a 40km long inlet of sea that separates the Kerry Peninsulas of Iveragh and Beara The pier played a role in Kenmare’s economic development throughout the 19th century.

 

 

Kenmare