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A DESCRIPTION OF COUNTY KERRY IN 1887

Extract from Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887)

Kerry, maritime co., in the SW. of Munster province, Ireland; is bounded N. by the Shannnon, which separates it from co. Clare, E. by cos. Limerick and Cork, S. by co. Cork, and W. by the Atlantic Ocean; greatest length, N. and S., 67 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 55 miles; average breadth, 36 miles; coast-line, about 200 miles; area, 1,185,918 (31,882 water), or 5.7 per cent. of the total area of Ireland; pop. 201,039, of whom 96.6 per cent. are Roman Catholics, 2.9 Episcopalians, 0.1 Presbyterians, and 0.2 Methodists.

On the Atlantic coast, which is prevailingly bold and rocky, are the bays of Tralee, Dingle, Ballinskelligs, and Kenmare. The principal headlands from N. to S. are Kerry Head, Brandon Head, Slea Head, Bray Head, and Bolus Head. The largest islands are Valentia and the Blasket group. The greater part of the surface is bleak and mountainous, but there is also much romantic scenery. The principal summits are Carrantuohill or Carn Tual (3414 ft.), in the range of Macgillicuddy's Reeks, the loftiest mountains in Ireland; Bautregaum, 2784 ft., and Mangerton, 2751 ft. The lakes are numerous, but mostly of small size; the principal are the celebrated Lakes of Killarney. None of the numerous rivers are of great length. There are several medicinal springs.

The ores of iron, lead, and copper are abundant in the S.; slate and flag-stone are quarried in Valentia. The chief crops are potatoes, oats, and turnips. The coast fisheries are extensive, and give employment to a large number of men and boys.

There is now direct railway communication from Tralee and Killarney to Cork and Limerick.

Kerry gives the titles of baron and earl to the Marquis of Lansdowne.

The co. comprises 9 bars.- Clanmaurice, Corkaguing, Dunkerron (North and South), Glanarought, Iraghticonnor, Iveragh, Magunihy, and Trughanacmy, 87 pars., and the towns of Tralee, Killarney, Listowel, Cahersiveen, and Dingle.

For parliamentary purposes the county is divided into 4 divisions - viz., North Kerry, West Kerry, South Kerry, and East Kerry, 1 member for each division; its representation was increased from 2 to 4 members in 1885.


Page created 07-Feb-2005 03:28 PM and last updated 14-Aug-2005 08:53 PM by Laurence Jones