Kilflynn Irish: Cill Flainn), is a charming little rural village just off the N69 Road from Listowel to Tralee.
Cill Flainn, meaning Church of Flainn derives its name from a hermit monk, Flainn (C600) who lived locally in a wattle hut by the river Shannow. After a lifetime dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the people of the area, he became crippled and lost his sight. Our Lady came to him in a vision and offered to restore his sight. He asked instead that the healing be put into the local spring, which is now Tobair Flainn. The well is a treasured part of local life, many cures are attributed to it and an open air Mass is celebrated here every May. There is also a beautiful transept window in the local church depicting Our Lady and the hermit monk.
Kilflynn is situated in the barony of Clanmaurice which runs from the mouth of the river Feale in the west to Barrow Harbour and on to the Limerick border three miles west of Abbeyfeale. In a north south direction it runs from the Feale to the Stack and Glanruddy Mountains . The village itself is built on the southern bank of the river Shannow.
The barony takes its name from Fitz Maurice family, a branch of the Geraldines from Florence in Italy , who came to Ireland in 1172. They were later honoured with the title of Lord Kerry. The great centre of their power was the ecclesiastical city of Ardfert , but their castle strongholds lay along the line of the Feale from Listowel to Ballybunion. The high ground above Kilflynn village was an ideal home for the Fitzmaurice castle of Garrinae . This strategic position gave a splendid view of the coast from Tralee Bay to Kerry Head and the mouth of the Shannon .After building the Court at Lixnaw the Fitzmaurices left Castletown to their Norman
in-laws, the Stacks. This is the same Stack family who made their residence at Crotta and lent their name to Kilflynn in the middle ages when it was known as Stackstown.
Crotta was built in 1669 by one of the Ponsonby's: Captain Ponsonby died here in 1681.In 1705 Rose Ponsonby, heiress to the estate married John Carrique who assumed his wife's name as well as his own. The estate was sold by the Carrique-Ponsonby's in 1842. It was then held on lease from the chancery by Christopher Julian Esq. and occupied by his steward.
In 1850 the house was leased by its new owners to Lt. Colonel Kitchener whose son, Herbert, the future Earl of Khartoum, spent his boyhood here. From the age of 4 to 16 he was taught in the area before going to Switzerland to finish his education. In 1863 the estate was purchased by Thomas Beale Browne who later sold it to the land commission. Crotta was still standing up to the 1970's but little remains now except some stone walls and part of the stableyard.