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 Islands Information

Kenmare, Ireland -

Kenmare by the sea, nestles among the mountains of Cork and Kerry, hence its IRISH Name "NEIDIN" meaning "Little Nest" or "Little Craddle". The charming picturesque town is a good example of one of Ireland's planned towns. It was founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty. His descendent William Petty-Fitzmaurice, 2nd. Earl of Shelbourne and 1st. Marquis of Lansdowne, commissioned the present design of the town which was completed in 1775.

Chosen by The Irish Tourist Board, the town is the first Heritage town in County Kerry. The Heritage Centre is located in the Courthouse where modern interpretative techniques are being used to recall it's history.

Craft people, both native and foreign, have found the area inspirational to their work. Designed and produced locally are Lace, Knitwear, Jewelry, Pottery, Wooden Crafts. Needlework, Weaving, Musical Instruments. Paintings and Smoked Salmon.

SIGHTS

The Pier

Said to be the first pier in Kerry! A centre of boating and swimming and it offers a fine view of the River Estuary.It also the place where SEAFARI starts its scenic and wildlife cruises on the Bay. And where diving instructor Paul Tanner of the Diving Centre can be found.

Cromwell's Bridge

Oliver Cromwell was never near, although his armies conquered the O'Sullivan Beare holdings to the east. This particular arch-shaped stone structure was used by Franciscan Monks at a nearby monastery to get water from a spring on the far side. This source is known as Our Lady's Well and remain a centre of local devotion every August, 15th, the Feast of the Assumption.The Bridge is to the North of the town, off the Killarney Road, past the Creamery.

Old Cemetery

In the 250 year old cemetery are the ruins of the Church of St. Finian, and nearby is a water well used by some of the devout for eye ailments and to remove warts. Also in the cemetery is a monument in memory of the estimated 5.000(!) people of the area who died during the Great Famine. The cemetery is reached from Kenmare to Bantry road; turn left at the Riversdale House Hotel Total distance ca 2 mls.

Stone Circles

Thousands of years ago people spoke in stone. Great circles of huge stone like Stonehenge and the marvellously decorative and evocative passage-grave at Newgrange spoke volumes to the peoples of those times. Today we look a wonder, because these silent relics of pre-historic human activity do not answer all the questions they raise in our minds. Here in the South West of Ireland there are many stone circles. They stand in ungarnished simplicity and they leave us wondering.The typical stone circle consists of a ring of stones with a recumbent stone. Frequently such a stone occupies the centre of the enclosure. There are many variations - the size of the stones used, the plan of the enclosure and the resence of associated monument outliers. They are seldom found below the 500-foot contoursThe stone circle, like others of its kind, is over 3,000 years old. It consists of 15 stones arranged in a circle, the diameter of which is 55 feet. This monument may simply be a pre-historic burial place, with a circle of stones girdling a bolder dolmen. A monument of this kind would only be erected to a particularly important person. It may subsequently have been a place for periodic ritual assemblies, where those gathered would express some aspect of their understanding of death. Many of these stone circles are very precisely orientated in relation to the sun. As such they are capable of being used as primitive but accurate calendars - this would be very useful for agricultural purposes. Perhaps there was some form of ritual sun worship associated with these mute sentinels of the past.The Circle known locally as the "Druids Circle" is situated beyond the end of Market Street.
Information provided by cctraveler2 at Travelpost.com