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Heritage

Picturesquely located at the foot of McGillycuddy’s Reeks it has been a tourist destination for over two hundred years and many famous visitors have crossed the Beaufort Bridge on the road to the Gap of Dunloe. The tourist industry has been a major force in the development of the area.

Beaufort has a number of key sites of cultural and historic importance.

1.The most significant of these is the Ogham Stones. Seven of the eight Ogham stones in this group were discovered in a souterrain at Coolmagort in the nineteenth century and have been set up on this site close to Dunloe Castle. The tallest stone is 8 feet high. There is also a prostrate slab taken from the grounds of nearby Kilbonane church. Ogham stones were frequently used as lintels in the construction of underground passages. Because of their long protection from exposure, the Dunloe inscriptions are unusually well preserved. All are of a commemorative nature, as is usual in these monuments. 2. St. John’s Mill Dunloe was built by the landlord, Donal O’Mahony of Dunloe Castle in 1874, as an amenity for his tenants. Unfortunately it is now in a bad state of repair. It was a strong built four storey construction and the machinery was worked by water power brought by sluice from the river Loe. The big wheel is one of the largest in the country; it measures twenty-six feet in diameter with a rim six feet wide and weights ten tons. All kinds of grain – wheat, oats, and barley were ground there between the huge crushing stones or querns. It proved a wonderful asset to the people not only in this parish but all mid Kerry and even much further a field during the two Great Wars 1914 – ’18 and 1939 – ’45 when no imported wheat or flour was available. It produced first class flour at a very cheap rate. 3. Beaufort House is a beautiful 18th century manor house set in 40 acres of woodland overlooking the River Laune. The original building on the site was a Short Castle, so called because it was only two stories high, built by Captain O'Sullivan in 1641 and attacked by Cromwell's forces in 1653, the west wall being demolished. In about 1760 the present house was built, the remaining three walls of the castle forming the hallway. The interior was altered in 1830 and the chimney pieces and plasterwork date from this time. 4. Dunloe Castle (built 1207) and Gardens Planted by Howard Harrington in the 1920s and 1930s.  Further planting done by the owners of Killarney Hotels Ltd. during the 1960s and since then. An extensive collection of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials with fine lawns, fountains and vistas. Dunloe Castle Gardens are one of The National Gardens of Ireland. 5. The area boasts many more historic sights including Corr Castle(built 1450), Churchtown old church ruins, Old Church ruins of St. Gobnait in Kilgobnet, Ardraw Earthern Fort, and many Ring or Fairy Forts.
st John Mill Dunloe Ogham stones dunloe castle castle cor
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Heritage