Places Of Historical Interest, Kiltimagh in Co. Mayo

Lios Ard

Local folklore refers to fairies (little people with musical gifts) and their forts (their enchanted homes). Lios Ard, known locally as Ard Ri (High King), is a beautiful fairy fort which, it is said, once housed nobility as well as the fairies.

Located on private property, the place is indeed magical as the customary line of beech trees dominates the skyline on the hill and allows it to be seen from all access roads.

The fort is also home to the oak tree where the blind poet Raftery (1784) was reputed to have been offered the gift of poetry or music by the fairies, in which he opted for poetry. Though it can be seen from all access roads it unfortunately is not open to the public.

Killedan Churchyard

Located a short distance from the town. Both the 8th century well and 12th century parish church (originally thatched) were restored some years ago, where possible using the original stone.

Other items of interest include the remains of a chapel from 1779 containing the remains of a 13th century tombstone. Mass is celebrated here annually.

A short distance away is the privately owned Killedan House, where the poet Raftery worked in his youth. He is one of Irelands great folk poets whose work lingered orally until transcribed by amongst others, Douglas Hyde at the turn of the century.

Old Schoolhouse

This recently restored 19th century school now displays the remaining artefacts from the old national schools in the area. Information is provided on the various school activities of that era.

This building also includes a self catering apartment suitable for 2-3 people.

The Market Square

From the late 19th century, Kiltimagh was a vibrant market place with the Fair Day being the highlight of the month. On this day the streets and the square were alive with people buying and selling livestock and wares.

In the square there are a series of wall plaques capturing the wonderful images of the traditional activities synonymous with the old Fair Day.

Also to be seen in the square is the monument to Raifteir an File, and a magnificent piece of sculpture Eternal Spring, by Benedict Byrne.

Ballinamore House

Ballinamore House, just outside the town was built in the 18th century and is part of an estate granted to the Ormsby family by Queen Elizabeth 1 in the 16th century.

There is also a church and graveyard in the estate grounds both of which were restored in 1996. Several famous people are buried here including Lottie MacManus, a historical novelist and many members of the Ormsby family.

Famine Village

Located 2km from the town off the Kilkelly road, you will find an example of a "clumped village". This village formation was due to the population rise during the period 1800 to 1841.

The area was subdivided into smaller plots where the people tried to sustain a living. These villages suffered drastically during the famine of 1845-1849.