Bantry Historical Society welcomes
all with an interest in history

Local History

Here we have a few articles on aspects of local history. Please click on the pdf symbol to access the relevant article and enjoy the read!

A Decade of Celebrating Heritage in Bantry

Bantry Historical & Archaeological Society is delighted to be included in Heritage Week 2020.  We looked back at all the events we have organised over the past eleven years for Heritage Week. and we were very impressed with what we have contributed to Heritage Week over the years, many years having several events.  So we are now showcasing our work and bringing our rich heritage of the Bantry area to new audiences. We have summarised our events in the pdf herewith .  We invite you, especially, to view our 2019 Project Celebrating Culture & Creativity in Bantry's 4 Valleys  in the History tab.of our website.  Here you will find in excess of 130 pages of collected material - Folklore, Poetry written by locals, stories etc of the rural hinterland of Bantry, plus five short videos.  That project was supported by the Cork Co Council/Creative Ireland Programme 2019.
Enjoy your visit to our local heritage.  We are passionate about our local heritage and would love to share it will you all.

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Celebrating Culture & Creativity of Bantry's 4 valleys - part 5

This is just one section of our 2019 project, funded by Cork Co Council Creative Ireland Funding Scheme 2019.  Included is (a) Old Irish Sayings, (b) Seanfhocail and (c) Irish Words in commom use in Bantry's Four Valleys until recent times.              17 Pages


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Celebrating Culture & Creativity of Bantry's 4 valleys - part 4

Heritage Week 2019 at Bantry Library  -  Videos of the night when natives of Bantry's Four Valleys came together to tell stories, sing songs, recite own poetry, recall founding/continuing life of local GAA Club and hear some stories written by schoolchildren who walked barefoot to school in 1937/'39 to the National Schools that were then flourishing in Bantry's Four Valleys.    7 Short Videos

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Celebrating Culture & Creativity of Bantry's 4 valleys - part 3

Here you can enjoy Irish Poems written by Kealkil man Conchubhar Ó Ruairc.  An English translation is offered.   13 Pages

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Celebrating Culture & Creativity of Bantry's 4 valleys - part 2

A selection from the collection of folklore compiled by school children in the 1930’s in the Bantry Four Valleys.   94 Pages.

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Celebrating Culture & Creativity of Bantry's 4 valleys - part 1

Poems from the Valleys  In this section of our project we have included a small selection of poems, some of which have been recited for generations in these rural areas.  These give a flavour of what life was like in the Valleys of Bantry up to mid/late 20th century, and highlights the wonderful creativity that abounded!        13 Pages

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Bantry Town Council honours Historical Society members

Bantry Town Council honours Bantry Historical & Archaeological Society members in 2013

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Cath Chéim an Fhia - Battle of Keimaneigh

From the Schools Collection:  This is a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s.

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Bantry Town Commissioners & Town Council 1896-2014

A brief summary of the Minutes of meetings of the Bantry Town Commissioners and Bantry Town Council from its formation in 1896 to its termination in 2014.  The full document may be viewed at

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Bantry tolls in the 19th century

A list of the Tolls, Duties and Customs claimed by the Earl of Bantry on June 28th 1818

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Bantry fisheries in the 19th century

Extracts from reports of the Commissioners of Irish Fisheries in Bantry Bay  - 1827 to 1867

Image: Stanhope Alexander Forbes (1857 - 1947) A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach

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Bantry Bridewell 1842-1856

A snap shot of both prison and prisoners from the mid nineteenth century in Bantry Bridewell.

Image: typical 19th century prison cell. Image credit: Cork City Gaol

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Statistics from Census 1911

Bantry Rural, Bantry Urban and Whiddy District Electoral Divisions -Statistics from the Census of 1911 in the said DEDs

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