Ballyferriter Museum And Heritage Centre
When exploring the Dingle Peninsula I strongly recommend an early visit to the Ballyferriter Museum. For a small charge you will have access to a wealth of historical information about the entire peninsula and the people who have populated the region since prehistoric times right up to the present.
The museum has many interesting artefacts including Ogham stones (ancient writing style unique to the Irish Celts), stone age tools, weapons and garments. You’re visit here will give you an impression of the living standards on the peninsula through the ages. One really interesting lesson I learned is how many of the locations on the Dingle Peninsula derived their names; for example the Danish influence on place names is widespread and many of these names still persist since the time when lands in Kerry were awarded to the Norman’s by the English King John the Second.
The reason I recommend you visit the museum early on in your exploration of the Dingle Peninsula is because it will add value to all the sites you visit there after. Unfortunately there is not always a lot of information available to visitors when you do reach a village or archaeological area of interest, so knowing the history of a particular harbour, or knowing the significance of a ruin will greatly add value to your visit.
I’ve been to the museum in Ballyferriter a number of times with my family and it never fails to impress. One item on display I always get a kick out of seeing is the cannon that’s just inside the entrance porch to the building. It’s dated from the Napoleonic Wars and was found washed up on a beach on the peninsula.
The museum is open 7 days a week May – September, 10:00 – 17:30. From October to April you can arrange a visit by appointment only. Call +353 (0) 66 9156100. Web: www.westkerrymuseum.com
There is also a coffee shop and book store in the same building which is open during normal business hours all year round (as far I know anyway). The book shop has some interesting books about the Dingle Peninsula and I always found the lady running the cafe and museum to be very friendly and helpful.
The little parish church is located across the road from the museum. It’s a typical small rural Romanesque style building.
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Map Of Ballyferriter
This map shows directions from Dingle Town to Ballyferriter. Coming from Dingle direction, the West Kerry Museum is on the left, across from the church, you can’t miss it. There is also a coffee shop in the building and a wide selection of books on sale too.
View Ballyferriter West Kerry Museum in a larger map