Bantry Historical Society welcomes
all with an interest in history


A taste of our many varied outings and events

First Summer outing 2021

In line with re-opening up the country post Covid-19 Pandemic, Bantry Historical held a small gathering in person on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd July 2021.  Here Hazel Vickery led the group on a guided walk along the older part of Bantry town - from Bantry Library via Market Street to Garryvurrchu Graveyard.  Back in the day that route would be described as:  from the Mill up past the Town Hall, over Kingston's bridge and down Pound Lane to the Church!

Image shows Hazel Vickery outside the ruined Garryvurrchu Church recalling the history of this historic place.  Photo by T Moran.

The Rituals & Magic of Christmas

Part of the audience attending the talk by Shane Lehane on the Rituals and Magic of Christmas

Celebrating the Culture & Creativity of Bantry's Four Valleys

The Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O'Sullivan, M.C.C. who launched the Heritage Week 2019 Event for Bantry Historical & Archaeological Society, seen here at Bantry Library with participants  and guests.

Included are L to R Vincent Crowley, Mealagh Valley; Dan Hurley, St Colum's G.A.A.; Nealie O'Leary, Coomhola/Borlin;  John Greene, M.C. for event;  Dickie O'Sullivan (Póc); John Cotter, Mealagh Valley;  Mayor; Mary Doyle, Researcher; Seán Ó Sé; Noel O'Mahony, Snr Librarian; Dan Sullivan, Kealkill; Cors. Keohane, Kealkil; Conor Nelligan, Heritage Officer, and Cllr. Holly Cairns, M.C.C.

St. Bartholomew's Well, Gortroe

As part of our outing to Local Sites of interest on 28th July 2019, our Guide, locally based archaeologist and co-owner of Bantry Bookshop, Kate Smyth, gave a most informative talk on this important Holy Well, setting it in the context of its location and its history.  We are indebted to Helen and Adrian for accommodating us and making us so welcome.

Cappanaboul Stone Circle

Photo shows part of the large crowd of members of Bantry Historical Society who visited Cappanaboul Stone Circle as part of our Trip to Local Sites on 28th July '19.  Kate Smyth, Archaeologist, gave a most interesting account of this Stone Circle, noting its location in context of local topography etc. A big thankyou to Denis and Mary for making us so welcome and leading us to this hilltop site.  Members also appreciated the splendid views from same.
Photo by Geraldine Mullins

Enjoying the "cuppa"

Enjoying the Cuppa  Part of the large group of Bantry Historical Society members who took part in our Trip to Local Sites in July 2019.  Having heard the history/folklore on Carraig na Caointe and nearby area, members were treated to a delightful cuppa and scone by Ann at Bay View Farm.  Bantry Historical Society wishes to express its gratitude to Anthony and Ann, and all the other landowners who preserve and maintain sites of historical/archaeological interest situated on their respective properties in the locality, without any State assistance.  Photo by Geraldine Mullins

Sherkin Abbey

Sherkin Abbey - this photo of the Franciscan Abbey on Sherkin Island was taken by Dave Cafero when members of Bantry Historical Society visited the island in July 2019.

On Sherkin

Over twenty members of Bantry Historical Society enjoyed this most enjoyable trip to Sherkin Island on Saturday 6th July 2019.  Our Guide was Karen, a native of the island.  We walked a lot of the island on roads and through grassy paths, enjoying nature and history together!

Members at Sherkin Abbey

At Sherkin Abbey.  Karen, our Guide gave us a detailed history of Sherkin Franciscan Abbey/Friary, which had a turbulent history.  It is now in the care of OPW.

Members on Sherkin Island

Members visiting Sherkin Island on 6th July 2019, pose for the camera in brilliant sunshine while on a guided walking tour of the island, organised by Hazel Vickery.  Apart from history and archaeology and enjoying the sites, some members also found time to view the exhibition "The Hare Along the Road", showing in the island's Community Centre.

Garnish Island trip 2019

The members of Bantry Historical & Archaeological Society had a brilliant field trip to this masterpiece of architectural expertise and skilled plantsmanship, led by Bernard O'Leary who gave us a feast of history of the island from architecture to plant hunting in SE Asia etc, from garden design to social history, from evolution to folklore... Thanks to Bernard, we can now appreciate so many other qualities in Garnish apart from the brilliant flowers and plants. 

Photo: Jackie Cooper

Field trip to Whiddy Island

The members of Bantry Historical & Archaeological Society had a brilliant field trip to Whiddy Island in May.  Photo by Seamus Larkin

Exploring the origins and practises of Station Masses in West Cork

Talk by Fr Tom Hayes which was attended by over 70 people.

A brilliant talk was expertly delivered by Fr Tom Hayes on this intriguing topic.  Referring  back to the 3rd Century, Fr Tom reminded us of the harsh life of many christians in that era who were martyred because they were christians.  Visiting those sites became a regular practice each Lent.  Later when churches were built in places, including Ireland, the respective Altar Stones contained a relic of one of the Martyres.  There were many changes through the centuries, but Fr Tom showed us an actual Altar Stone which belongs to Castletown Church, and embedded therein is a relic of a Martyr.

Canon Leader, centre, at Kilnaruane Pillar Stone - Heritage Week 2009

Bantry Historical Society had a very successful Heritage Week event in August 2009, when Canon Liam Leader led an enthusiastic group of members and friends on a walk to the famous Kilnaruane Pillar Stone near Westlodge Hotel.  Canon Liam had earlier given an inspiring talk to a packed audience of society members about Kilnaruane Pillar Stone.  Dr James Hourihane, on right, earlier co-wrote a detailed article on this monument. Rory O'Callaghan, Mayor of the (then) Bantry Town Council is on left of photo.
Bantry Historical Society is truly indebted to Canon Leader for alerting us to the uniqueness of this monument.

Shane Lehane talk 28 Nov 2018

Part of the large crowd who attended this excellent talk by Shane Lehane on The Irish Folk Year - the Cycles of Life.

Kenmare Stone Circle

This was one of the many sites visited on our wonderful outing in 2015 led by Dr James Hourihane.  

Celebrating Cork Past 2018

Mary O'Regan Barsum, Hon Secretary of Bantry Historical Society, seen here with Anne O'Regan at the recent "Celebrating Cork Past 2018" event in City Hall Cork, where Bantry Historical Society's latest Exhibition "Bantry Through The Ages" was displayed.

Group at 40th Anniversary of Bantry Historical Society May 2018

L - R  Seán Ó Sé, Brigitte Wagner-Halswick, Bernard O'Leary, P.R.O., Mary O'Regan Barsum, Hon Secretary, Eamonn Leonard (Fed Local History Societies), Mayor Cllr Declan Hurley, Margaret McAllister, Hon Treasurer, Angela O'Donovan, Cathaoirleach.

40th Anniversary celebrations opened by Mayor

40th Anniversary celebrations opened by Cork County Mayor on 10th May 2018

Cutting the cake at 40th Anniversary

Cutting the cake at the 40th Anniversary

Autumn Outing 2018

Group of Bantry Historical Society's members outside Independence Museum, Kilmurry.  Left to right:-  Terrie Erdpohl (Tour Organiser), Seamus Larkin, Eilish Larkin, Hazel Vickery, Margaret McAllister, Mary Connolly, Brigitte Shelswell-White, Joan Donovan, Colette O Regan, Jackie and Rob Cooper.

Doonour Mould Talk

Heritage Week 2018 at Bantry Library for official opening of Exhibition - Bantry Through The Ages - by Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick G Murphy, followed by presentation by Sharon Weadick, Asst Keeper/Antiquities, National Museum of Ireland, on the Doonour Stone Mould which was discovered in 1960's by Cornelius O Brien on his lands. 
Standing l-r  Seamus Larkin, Charles McCarthy (who organised the event), Noel O Mahony, Senior Executive Librarian, Bantry Library, Cllr. Mary Hegarty, MCC, Deputy Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony TD, Cllr Danny Collins, MCC, Conor Nelligan, Heritage Officer.
Seated L-r Angela O Donovan, Cathaoirleach, Bantry Historical Society, Sharon Weadick, NMI, (speaker), Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick G Murphy, MCC, Mary O'Brien of Doonour (on whose lands the mould was discovered), Áine Brosnan, Archaeologist.

August Outing 2017

a most enjoyable Field Trip to Reendesert, Castletownbere, Dunboy, Allihies Copper Mines Museum, Dooneen and Derreenataggart Stone Circle on Sunday 23rd July. The group photograph was taken at Dooneen, the site of the 1st mine in the area. Included is Dr Colum Hourihane who led the group.

Spring Outing 2017

Dr. Colum Hourihane explaining the carvings on the western face of the Kilnaruane Pillar Stone near Bantry.

Spring Outing 2017

Dr. Colum Hourihane explaining the carvings on the western face of the Kilnaruane Pillar Stone near Bantry.

Spring Outing 2017

Entering Ballinacarriga Castle

Spring Outing 2017

Dr. Colum Hourihane, Aine Brosnan, and Society members chatting at the south-western window on the top floor of Ballinacarriga Castle.

Spring Outing 2017

Left to right: President, Chairperson, and Treasurer – Arethusa Greacen, Angela O'Donovan, and Margaret McAllister – take a break at the top of Ballinacarriga Castle

Marcus Keyes in Bantry Library 2016

Marcus Keyes, son of Raphael P Keyes one of the Bantry Company of Irish Volunteers gave a talk on his father and his place in the national fight for freedom

Marcus Keyes talk

The audience

2016 Commemorations

The unveiling of a plaque to commemorate a day in the life of

2016 Commemorations

Following in the footsteps of the 1916 Bantry Volunteers on trip to Kealkil for Kealkil 1916 Commemorative Ceremony

2016 Commemorations

Brian Waters and his sister Mary O Dubháin children of Thomas Waters one of the Bantry Company, at the unveiling of the commemorative plaque

Launch of 'Bantry Remembers - 1916- 1921'

As part of the 1916 national commemorations we publishes a book Bantry Remembers 1916-1921 which details the events leading up to 1916, the Uprising in Dublin, and all the details of who did what in Bantry at Easter 1916, as well as the following years right up to the Truce in July 1921. During Heritage Week 2016 we launched the book in Bantry Library.

Ellen Hutchins Festival

Madeline Hutchins, Clare Heardman and Angela O'Donovan

Ellen Hutchins Festival

Plaque commemorating Ellen Hutchins marking the place of her burial, unveiled by the Festival in 2015

Ellen Hutchins Festival

Seaweed Event by Sally McKenna at Gerahies Bantry during Heritage Week

Ellen Hutchins Festival

Angela O'Donovan (Bantry Historical Society), Clare Heardman (National Parks and Wildlife Service), Conor Newman (National Heritage Council) and Madeline Hutchins (Ellen researcher and Ellen's great great grandniece)

Knitting Workshop in Bantry Library during Heritage Week

Workshop was part of Heritage Week 2015

Fr. Pat Conlon talk

Franciscan Priest Fr. Pat Conlan speaking in Bantry to members of Bantry Historical Society and friends about The Franciscans in Bantry Abbey