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The village has a primary school, rainbow creche and Farran Montessori school. A church,Community hall, hair salon and various B&Bs add to the amenities of the area while Kilcrea Abbey and Kilcrea Castle are historical sites still visited by tourists and locals alike. Until recently the village also had a Gala supermarket/post office and two pubs. Farran is home to over 5,000 people, a few of whom have made a name for themselves in world sport, including the former Celtic and Manchester United player Liam Miller and former Cork footballer Ciaran Sheehan. There is a vibrant youth club that meets regularly in the Community hall. The area is also rich in history and local folklore.
Aglish means church. The church was built in 1199 and is mentioned as Magalaid in 1302, as Machali in 1483 Agalasmaschala.
The ruins of the medieval church in Aglish, which was built of stone and lime, still show the northern and western walls. The old graveyard is to the rear of the western gable. A new graveyard was opened in the 1970s, and is still being used for families in the area.
In Rumley’s bog in Ballineadig is a “cill” site called Teampul (also called Clogheen) in a circular mound. There was also a graveyard here. The passage or road from the site is still pointed out, leading to Crios a Cuilinn (Holly Cross) on the old Cork-Kerry road. The graveyard is locally said to have been removed to Aglish in the night, showing that this “cill” site preceded Aglish. A book in the Honan Chapel which is part of University College Cork, states that St. Finbarr is buried in that graveyard.
The Rumley family lived in Ballineadig for four generations. The Lehanes own the house now. The house is over 200 years old, which makes it the oldest house in Ballineadig.
The word Ballineadig means “Town of the Clothes” in English. Years ago there was a little clothes factory in Ballineadig and this is how Ballineadig got its name. There is very little information to be found about this factory. The River Lee represents the northern boundary of Ballineadig. In 1957 the Electricity Supply Board constructed a dam to generate electricity at Inniscarra. This dramatically raised the water level of the river, and thus, extra land was needed along the course of the river. The total acreage required in Ballineadig was 62 acres (250,000 m2). This was deducted from four different land owners.
There was a public house (bar) on the southern boundary of Ballineadig, near the main road. It was owned by the Moriarty family. It was known as a stage house for horses and their owners on their journeys. There was a little verse about it, which went:
“You can travel Cork and sweet Blackrock,
And Farran Cross all over,Than Hannie Moriarity’s porter”
You’ll never find a sweeter drop,
This house was knocked down by the Buckley family around 1920, and there is no evidence of it to be seen today. During the Irish War of Independence, the Hayes family were raided at their home by the Black and Tans, but the man they were looking for, Timmy Hayes, escaped through the fields. He subsequently fled to America and never came home again.
Fr. John Cotter built Farran Church in 1860. it was built beside the road leading from Farran village to Aglish burial ground.
At some stage the walls were completely demolished and another church, the present church, was built on the same spot. The old pillars and entrance gates remain. Farran Church is the only known church in the diocese to be consecrated, which means that the walls are as sacred as the altar. In 2010 Farran Church celebrated its 150th year in use.
Kilcrea railway station used to be a station on the Cork-Macroom line, which accommodated cargo and passenger trains. In the summer time there used to be excursion trains from Macroom to Youghal. Special cattle trains ran once a month for cattle fairs in Macroom. The farmers of the area used to take their beet to the station to be transported to the sugar factory in Mallow. Coal used to come to the station from Castlecomer in Kilkenny, to be used in Aherla to burn lime and the stout for the local public houses also arrived there. When the thrashing was over in the summer time the threshing sets were transported from Kilcrea to Limerick. The community depended solely on the station until the widespread introduction of cars, after which the necessity of passenger trains decreased and haulage lorries reduced the need for cargo trains. Kilcrea station closed in the 1950s. The station house can still be seen today and is still occupied. The road which runs alongside the station became known as Station House Road, which runs from the N22 towards Aherla.
Kilcrea Abbey was founded in 1465 by Cormac Láidir McCarthy for the Franciscan Friars. It is on the southern bank of the River Bride. This river is crossed by what must be the narrowest of all public bridges.
It is said the last wolf in Ireland was killed in Kilcrea. Many famous people are buried in Kilcrea. One of them is Cormac McCarthy son of the founder Felix McCarthy, a friar well known for his charity.
Also buried there is the Bishop of Ross Dr. Herlihy and Art O’ Laoire, who was killed by English soldiers because he refused to sell his horse for five pounds. The Abbey was pillaged several times and was finally destroyed during the Cromwellian campaign in the middle of the 17th century. There are two different stories of how the Abbey was destroyed:
It was burned by Cromwell’s soldiers.
It was burned by the locals so that the soldiers could not destroy the most sacred part of the Abbey by using it as a stable.
It was a rule of Kilcrea that anyone was welcome to stay as long as he liked as a guest without paying.
The Clarke Estate
The Clarke Family were the local landlords who came to Farran in 1840. They lived there until 1937 when the estate was sold to the Land Commission, who divided it into smaller holdings.
They came from Liverpool, first settling in Trabolgan near Midleton and later in Farran (1840), where they lived in a magnificent Georgian House. They were involved in the tobacco industry–being the largest cigar company in Cork.
The Clarkes donated Farran Woods to the public. This area is a beautiful area for picnics, park walks and for spotting wildlife. It is on the southern bank of the river Lee. During summer months many people use the river to skinny dip as it is very secluded area. They also donated land to the parish on which the present Catholic Church and school are built.
The Holy Well
The Holy Well, known as Tobar Riogh an Domhnaigh (King of Sunday) is situated in Rooves Beg. It is also called Tobareen an Aifrinn as mass was celebrated nearby in Penal times.
It is on a section of road, which was once the main Cork to Kerry road, (known as the butter road). The well is covered with the usual hood shape construction. When visiting, people decorate the well with plants, flowers and sometimes, night lights.
People visit the well especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. A special pattern of “rounds” was recited at the Holy Well. The round is finished by drinking some water from the well. Nowadays local people visit the Holy Well on August 15 every year. A priest usually attends reciting the Rosary and other prayers. It is a special and peaceful place.
- Placenames Database of Ireland. An Fearann Verified 2011-04-16.