Killarney in detail

History

The Killarney area has been inhabited since at least the early Bronze Age, when copper ore was mined on Ross Island. In the 7th century St Finian founded a monastery on Inisfallen in Lough Leane, and the region became a focus for Christianity. The lands around the lough were occupied by the Gaelic clans of McCarthy Mór and the O'Donoghues of Ross, who built Ross Castle, before coming into the possession of the Herberts of Muckross and the Earls of Kenmare.

It wasn't until the mid-18th century that Sir Thomas Browne, the 4th Viscount Kenmare (1726–95), began to develop the region as an Irish version of England's Lake District. It was later bolstered by the arrival of famous visitors including Sir Walter Scott (1825) and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (1861), as well as the railway (1853). By 1895 Killarney was on the Thomas Cook package-tour itinerary.