Blarney (Irish: An Bhlarna, meaning ‘the little field’) is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Blarney is famed as the site of Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone and is one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages. The village centres around the well preserved Tudor style village square – a large green area wherein tourists and locals alike congregate in the Summer months.
Blarney village in olden times was home to a number of spinning & weaving mills due to its natural setting on the River Martin and the Shournagh River, as the Mills depended on water as a source of power for the machines. In 1765 the Blarney village was built for the mill workers and Blarney celebrated 250 years as a village in 2015.
The Cork & Muskerry Light Railway also known as the ‘Muskerry Tram’ ran from Cork city to Blarney from Aug 1887 to Dec 1934. The line ran from Cork to Blarney, a distance of 18 miles. The railway had a 3ft gauge which classified it as a narrow gauge railway. In 1887 a 1st class return would cost you 1’8 (1 shilling 8 pence) or a 3rd class return 10 d (10 pence). The railway (or ‘Muskerry Tram’ as it was known locally) was hugely successful and after only one week the train was packed to capacity with over 2,000 passengers! At its height the line operated nine steam locomotives. The railway was mainly a tourist route, but was also used by local businessmen and by farmers to carry livestock and produce. The line lasted through World War I unscathed but suffered serious damage during the Irish Civil war in 1923 when an important bridge was destroyed. In 1925 the railway was purchased by Great Southern Railways (Ireland) and was eventually closed in December 1934.
Take our interactive heritage trail and learn more about this historic village.
Blarney & District Historical Society – Has lots of information in book form about the area. Books are available for purchase from the Society.
Reaching Out – Ireland Reaching Out is a project to connect all Irish people with their place of origin. The website has information about ancestors, buildings and has a forum for asking questions.
Index for O’Kief, Coshe Mang – This remarkable collection of 16 enormous volumes of primary and secondary genealogical and historical records cover the area bounded roughly by Newcastle, Tralee, Killarney and Mallow. There is an online index and the Volumes are held in City & County Hall libraries.