The Famine Cottages

The Famine Cottages were built in the mid nineteenth century and originally housed the Long and then the Kavanagh family. The cottages were located in Fán, Ventry County Kerry on the lands of the Earl of Cork. The family lived in this house during one of the worst famines to strike Western Europe – The Great Irish Famine.

One family who lived in the house had an especially sad tale to tell. In the mid to late 1800’s Mary Long’s brother was living in the house. He and his wife had the bad fortune of having six of their children die at birth. Whether this was due to poor health and living conditions of the time is unknown. However as the children all had not been baptised before death the church would not allow them to be buried in a graveyard of the church. The parents had no choice but to bury them on their own land. They were all laid to rest just a few hundred yards from the cottage where a simple but crude stone cross marks their grave.


The largest of the cottages was inhabited up until the 1950’s when the last of the Kavanaghs (Tomás Ó Cíobháin) left the cottage. Included in the grounds of the cottages is an early Christian burial mound thought to be where the unbaptised children were buried. An early Christian stone carving and stone cross are visible within the mound. The elevation of the site gives a fantastic panoramic view of nearby prehistoric Dúnbeg Fort, Dingle Bay, South kerry and Skellig Rocks on a clear day.


Located in Fán, Ventry, County Kerry.


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