Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Killarney, Lakes of, a group of three beautiful lakes situated in a basin at the northern foot of the lofty Kerry Mountains, in Co. Kerry (q.v.), Ireland. The Lower Lake, or Lough Leane, which is furthest to the N., is 5 miles long, with an average breadth of 2-1/2 miles; the Middle or Muckross Lake is 2 miles long by 1 mile broad, and the Upper Lake 2-1/2 miles by 1 mile. The Lower and Middle Lakes are connected with the Upper by the Long Ranges, a winding stream with picturesquely wooded banks, 2-1/2 miles in length. In many places the mountains rise immediately from the shore of the lakes, and are covered with trees down to the water's edge; the islands also, with which the lakes are thickly studded, are richly wooded, and both here and along the margin there is a luxuriant growth of the arbutus unedo, an indigenous plant remarkable for its size and beauty, which is peculiar to this district. On the E. side of the Lower Lake is the peninsula called Ross Island, on which is Ross Castle, a quadrangular tower dating from 1500. Near the Middle Lake are the interesting ruins of Muckross Abbey, originally the monastery of Irrelagh, founded for the Franciscans about 1446 by the head of the McCarthy family, and restored in 1626. The little town of Killarney, 1-1/2 miles E. of the Lower Lake, is entirely dependent on the tourists who visit the district; the only object of interest is the Roman Catholic cathedral, designed by Pugin.