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Title: Ballyfarnon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Turlough O'Carolan, County Roscommon, Ballinlough, County Roscommon, MacDermot Roe, Earl of Kingston
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Béal Átha Fearnáin
Approaching from the northwest on the R284
Approaching from the northwest on the R284
Ballyfarnan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Roscommon
Elevation 59 m (194 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 182
Irish Grid Reference G863138

Ballyfarnan (historically Bellafernan, from Irish: Béal Átha Fearnáin, meaning "ford-mouth of the alders")[2] is a town in County Roscommon, Ireland. It lies on the R284 regional road on the border with County Sligo.

The first Church at Kilronan, Keadue, County Roscommon, was built in the 8th century by St. Ronan and his daughter St. Lasair. It was replaced in 1339 by one built by Fergal O'Duigenan which was burned down in 1340 and replaced three years later by the Church, one gable of which stands today. Sheltered by that gable is the vault of the McDermott Roes, in which Turlough O'Carolan was interred in 1738.

This gable is a memorial to the Gaelic Literary tradition from the 13th -18th century as represented by the O'Duigenans, hereditary erenachs of Kilronan (lay abbots who held church land from generation to generation), and chroniclers (as well as bards and ollavs-hereditary poets) to the MacDermots, Princes of Moylurg, down to Turlough O'Carolan, sometimes styled "The Last of the Bards". The O'Duigenans maintained a School of History on this site. The origin of the bards is lost in the mists of pre-historic Ireland.

Kilronan Castle

This castle which was also known as Castle Tenison is a 19th.century castle dating from two different periods. The earlier part consisting of a 3 storey 3 bay symmetrical castellated block with slender corner turrets, pinnacled buttresses and tracery windows. The later part is two storey high, irregular, and of rubble stone with a baronial tower.

The castle was inherited by Florence (née Tenison) wife of the 8th Earl of Kingston who assumed the additional name of Tenison.[3]

The Tenisons were remarkable early photographers. In particular Edward King-Ternison travelled in Spain in the 1850s where he took some remarkable pictures of the castles and scenery. Some of the E.K. Tenison pictures can be seen in the National Photographic Library which is part of the National Library. [4] E.K. Tenison took photographs of Kilronan Castle in 1859 which were printed with albumen. In 1814 the castle was occupied by Thomas Tension.

The castle is a now a luxury hotel, is situated close to the village.


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports.  
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  3. ^ Mark Bence Jones, 'Burkes Guide to Country Houses'.
  4. ^ National Photographic Library

See also

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