Welcome to Ballyseedy

Ballyseede Castle Hotel Ballyseedy Wood. ©Holiday Tralee @ Copyright Ballyseedy Martyrs Monument

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Ballyseedy (Irish: Baile Uí Shíoda, meaning "town of Sheedy" A Tipperary planter) is near the N21 road, 2.5 miles southeast of Tralee.

This was the seat of the Blennerhasset family from around 1586 to 1967.  Thomas Blennerhassett and his son Robert arrived in Kerry from Flimby in Cumberland in 1586 and leased the demesne from Sir Edward Denny for the rent of one red rose to be presented each year on Midsummers Day. The castle was built during the middle of the 19th century, but the original three storey Georgian section and basement were built sometime before 1750. The family remained there until 1967 when it was sold as a hotel. Inside the rooms are mainly mid-eighteenth century, the library is paneled with a wood-carved chimneypiece and the hall is divided by ionic columns.  The castle had a pack of  hounds in the 19th century but today the only hounds that will greet you in Ballyseedy Castle are Mr Higgins and Einstein, the two Irish Wolfhounds who live here. The ancient woodland, Ballyseedy Wood, dates to the16th century and contains the ruins of Ballyseedy House (or old Ballyseedy Castle) and a mill. Nature trails have been developed here following the old coach road where you can walk or cycle through the groves of oak, yew, hazel and hornbeam. With large tracts of alder,  ash and grey willow, this site on the flood plain of the river Lee is the largest wet woodlands in the southwest, and one of the few remaining woodlands in north Kerry. It also hosts kingfishers, otters and is a nesting place for the long-eared owl.

Ballyseedy has been closely bound up with the lives of people from Tralee for centuries.  It was a place where they went for walks and excursions, particularly on the first of May when they flocked to the wood to welcome the coming of summer, a tradition which dates back at least 200 years.  There is an ancient church in Ballyseedy, built with local sandstone and is about 150 years old and whose stained glass windows are memorials to the Blennerhasset family.  At Ballyseedy Cross stands an evocative sculpture created by Breton artist, Yann Renard-Goulet commemorating some of the tragedies of the Civil War.

Other places to visit include the award winning Gortbrack Organic Farm where you can enjoy educational nature trails (by appointment) and learn about biodiversity,  Ballygarry House Hotel and Nadur Spa and Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre. 

At just a five minute drive from Tralee, Ballyseedy is a must for lovers of Irish history, architecture and natural woodland.

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