Aghavallen Church has a interesting story. It dates back to the 14th
century With the reformation, it became a Protestant church and remained so
until 1840 when it was abandoned for a new church built nearby, where Lord
Kitchener was baptised in 1850. This church no longer exists. The cemetery holds
the tombs of many of the landlord families of the area.
Carrigafoyle Castle, just two miles from Ballylongford, a tower built
in 1490 by Conor Liath O'Connor Kerry. It is in unusually good condition. It is
built of thin pieces of limestone, used almost as bricks. There are some
attractive windows and archways. This is a very fine example of 15th Century
Building. The illustration in Pacata Hiberna shows the unique features of this
castle. The castle was strongly built and ingeniously situated. The wide spiral
staircase of 104 steps leads to the battlements and in presentation and size it
rivals Blarney Castle. It rises to 26.4 meters and gives an impression of great
strength. The view from the tower is extensive. In the forefront Carrig Island
and Scattery Island can be seen across the broad estuary of the Shannon.
Carrigafoyle Castle was the main stronghold of the O'Connor Kerry, the
principal chieftain of the barony named after him. For 400 years they were an
important part of the ever changing political and military jigsaw of those
times. from here O'Connor Kerry was able to intercept ships going up the Shannon
to Limerick, board them and take a part of their cargo. This practice continued
until the middle of the 16th Century. In the Desmond wars, in 1580, the castle
came under fire from naval artillery on land and sea, under the command of Sir
William Pelham. Following a two day siege the castle was breached and taken on
Palm Sunday 1580. All the occupants, comprising nineteen Spanish and fifty Irish
Opposite the castle is the medieval Church of Carrigafoyle which is in the
same style as the castle. Carrigafoyle Castle is one of our finest National
Carrigafoyle Church was built in the 15th century for the inhabitants
of the nearby castle. It was built on the site of an earlier church of St.
Elton. The canons that were used in the attack on the castle were positioned in
Carrig Island provides a sheltering arm for Carrigafoyle Castle.
Little is known or remains of a building known as "the Old Abbey", i.e.
predating Lislaughtin Abbey. Surrounding these remains and visible in the
contours of the field is a circular ring associated with old ecclesiastical
enclosures. Nearby are sites of ancient
cooking sites, dating back to 1000 B.C.
Lislaughtin Abbey was twice engulfed in unholy violence during the
turbulent 16th century. When Cromwellian forces moved through this area in 1580,
it was the death-knell of this beautiful Franciscan Abbey as a place of worship.
The Abbey was built by John O'Connor, powerful chief of Carrigafoyle in 1470.
Two of the O'Connor chiefs are buried within its walls. The fine East window
remains intact. The beautiful Lislaughtin Cross is now in the National Museum.
Kilnaughtin Church, built in the 14th century, was the ancient parish
church of Tarbert.
At Scattery Island two miles out in the Shannon can be seen the
remains of seven small churches. It is a 6th century foundation of St. Senan. A
90 foot high round tower, dating back to 1200 A.D. is clearly visible from