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Local Heritage & Museums

Local Heritage & Museums

The Heritage Park at Bonane is a fascinating place to visit. It’s steeped in archeological history, well laid out and signed. In fact Bonane Heritage Park is such a success for the small community that established it, that it won the national ‘Pride of Place’ competition in 2008. The Park is located about seven miles out of town and is signposted from the N71 Glenngarriff Road.

The Motor Museum near Kenmare was established in 1985 and is a treasure trove of historical motor memorabilia. Kilgarvan Motor Museum, a family-run business has supplied vehicles for major films and regularly offers antique limousines for weddings throughout the county. - Phone: 064 66 85346 Visit

The Mass Rock at Baurearagh is hidden away across a river and high up among forestry below the N 71 Glengarriff Road. It’s a place where the Catholic Mass was secretly celebrated in penal times. A priest caught saying mass there was once taken and executed in front of his congregation. Mass is still celebrated there each year in commemoration of its history. Details and directions from Molly Gallivan’s. - Phone: 064 66 40714/41455

Go back in time at a very attractive old homestead in a stunning position on the N71 in Bonane. Its name is Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm and you’re invited to enjoy an audi-visual presentation explaining how life was lived years ago and tour the cottage which is furnished exactly as it was when Molly Gallivan lived there. Next you can visit the craft shop with its beautiful selection of locally-made pottery and gifts and have a bite to eat in Molly’s kitchen. - Phone: 064 66 40714/41455  

Visit the Highest Pub in Ireland called appropriately enough ‘Top of Coom’ because it’s perched high on a mountain in Kilgarvan named Coom. There have been some challengers for the title but this is the real McCoy – it’s 121 feet higher than its nearest rival and has Ordnance Survey approval for its claim. Cameras are a must on this trip, for the landscapes and to prove you’ve been there! - Phone: 064 66 85373

The Heritage Centre is located at the rear of the Tourist Office in the Square and explains in words and pictures the history of modern Kenmare since it was established by Sir William Petty around 1670. Kenmare Heritage Centre is well worth a visit. Its opening hours coincide with those of the Tourist Office and are seasonal. - Phone: 064 66 41233

Visit the Traditional Farm at Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm. On a 500 metre walk you’ll see the way farmers used to work and exist before the invention of electricity and other modern methods. You’ll encounter antique farm machinery and see demonstrations of sheep shearing and dipping. [By prior appointment]

The Stone Circle at Kenmare is a particularly fine example and is the largest stone circle in south west Ireland. Over 3,000 years old, it consists of 15 stones enclosing a circle measuring about 17metres in diameter. It’s known locally as the Druid's Circle and features a capstone which must be around seven tons in weight.
The Stone Circle is very close to the centre of town and is signposted from the Square.

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