The parishes throughout the Hidden Valleys are steeped in history . From the creation of the Gap of Dunloe after the Ice Age to the ogham stones dotted throughout the area you will feel the past echoing through the area.
We all have a story to tell and once you get talking to a local you will quickly find out the richness of heritage and cultures that most in the area can trace back to generations past.
Through many tribes and wars throughout the centuries in this area by visiting the Hidden Valleys you are going on a journey from present to past.
Aghadoe Church & Round Tower
Located at the top of a hill overlooking Killarney, Aghadoe round tower must have been visible for many kilometres. Sadly, only the lower portion remains. The ground level on the south, east and west sides has been raised up, giving the tower its stumpy appearance. The 12th century sandstone tower is dressed to the curve but is believed to have been rebuilt in the 19th Century using some smaller stones along with the original larger pinkish sandstone blocks. The tallest portion stands at 5.5m but the majority of the remains reach only 3.4m above ground level. There are no surviving windows or a doorway, suggesting that either the door sill was above the surviving stonework or it was omitted in reconstruction. The base dimensions of 4.6m suggest that the tower was once approximately 30m tall.
Kate Kearneys Cottage
Kate Kearney’s Cottage is located at the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe. Kate Kearney who the cottage is famously named after was a well known beauty in Ireland in the years before the Great Famin and it was at this cottage that she distilled her famous poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew’, which was “very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it.” After Kate came Julia Burke and her husband Donal Mór Moriarty who lived in Kate Kearney’s Cottage in the middle of the 19th Century. They are Jim Coffey’s (the current owner) Great Great Grandparents. Whether you are looking for food or drink or to feel the years of history in the building no trip to the Hidden Valleys is complete without heading to Kate Kearney’s cottage.
Beaufort Ogham Stones
Driving from Beaufort Village towards the Gap of Dunloe you will come across The Beaufort Ogham Stones on your left hand side. While the nearby Dunloe Hotel was being built these stones were discovered and moved close by for all to see. The stones give a glimpse of the history of this area and Ireland with the ogham language dating back to 300 AD. The Ogham language uses horizontal and sloped lines on the edge of the standing stones to represent words and letters .