New Book Details Archaelogical Discoveries On Tralee Bypass

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‘In The Vale Of Tralee’.

A NEW book describing the remarkable discoveries that were made along the route of the Tralee bypass is now available to buy.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Kerry County Council have announced the publication of In the Vale of Tralee – the archaeology of the N22 Tralee Bypass.

The book describes the discoveries made by archaeologists from Rubicon Heritage Services and Irish Archaeological Consultancy in 2010 and 2011.

The construction of the bypass provided a rare opportunity to explore the rich heritage of North Kerry through large-scale archaeological investigation, with the excavations revealing evidence of over 6,000 years of human life in the Tralee hinterland, from early prehistory to modern times.

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Among the discoveries were the remains of a building in Manor East erected by some of the first farmers to settle in the River Lee Valley,  as well as circular houses of the Bronze Age in Ballingowan, Knockawaddra Middle and Ballynabrennagh, and Iron Age cremation burials in Manor East and Ballinorig West.

Of particular note was the monumental avenue of timber posts uncovered in Ballingowan which may have been the site of sacred ceremonial processions during the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age.

Another highlight was the discovery of a previously unknown bivallate (double ditched) ringfort in Ballinorig West. This was probably the defended homestead of a wealthy farmer or local lord during the early medieval period.

Glimpses of Tralee’s more recent past were revealed by the excavation of the brick-making sites and limekilns uncovered on the project, while the abandoned cottages uncovered in Lismore attest to the devasting impact of the Famine in North Kerry.

Jimmy Deenihan, former Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and current President of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society said; “The archaeological excavations on the Tralee Bypass revealed fascinating new insights about the lives of previous generations of people who lived in North Kerry.

“Examination of the objects they left behind and the remnants of their homes, farms and burial places has enabled the archaeologists to fill out the stories of our past. The wealth of new information presented in this beautifully illustrated volume will also help shape and inform future research on the archaeology of Tralee and its hinterland for many years to come.”

Councillor Terry O’Brien, Mayor of Tralee said; “We’ve always been very proud of our heritage in Tralee. Our churches, castles and placenames provide a strong connection to our medieval past and contribute to the pride we feel for our town. Our more ancient heritage has also played its part in this, inspiring many of the artworks in the Garden of the Senses in the town park. While the bypass has improved our quality of life by reducing congestion and facilitating economic development, a perhaps unexpected benefit is the greater understanding of our past gathered from the archaeological investigations carried out in advance of construction. I greatly welcome the publication of this book, which presents this new knowledge in an accessible and attractive way that can be enjoyed by all.

In the Vale of Tralee is available through local bookshops and can be ordered online from Wordwell ( A Kindle version can be purchased on Amazon. It can be also viewed on the TII website (

One Comment

  1. michael dunne says:

    A most welcome development. Maybe now we,ll be better placed to make a more meaningful interpretation of An Bóthar Buí. Chances aren it is in keeping with the many Bóthar Buí’s around our country. When this study begins I hope it includes the strategic importance Moyderwell, nomadic farming and the seasonal celebrations. Festivities started a long time before the Rose of Tralee.