+353 (0) 63 91300 reception@ballyhoura.org

DROMIN “History and Tradition”

Dromainn Uí­ Chláirchá­n The Ridge of Chláirchán

The earliest known reference to Dromin dates to 1088AD, when it was mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters and the Annals of Innisfallen.


The Fair Green of Dromin was famous for its enormous annual fairs on 23rd September and 14th December. A Royal Charter permitting the holding of fairs in Dromin was granted in 1646 but the fairs probably had a much older origin. During the 19th century, thousands came here to buy and sell cattle, sheep and pigs. The last of these historic gatherings was held in December 1894. Major Laurence Roche wrote that “I can well recall these large fairs in Dromin from 1878 to 1894 when not alone was the Fair Green filled with cattle but the road from the Trinity Well to the Pump at Cathair was densely packed with people, cattle, sheep, pigs, cars, tents and drinking booths. The Fair Green was purchased by Tady Tierney, grandfather of the present owner, Paddy Tierney, in 1891. The last fair was held there in 1894.


A sale or bargain became solemn once the two contracting parties clasped hands through the circular hole in the bargaining stone. Consequently, this unique stone in the Fair Green, beside Tierney’s thatched pub, served an important function at local fairs


Dromin was once noted for faction fighting. These fights, once common throughout Ireland, usually took place between rival factions (families or parishes). At faction fights in Dromin, each side had up to 500 supporters who carried blackthorn sticks with nails hammered into them, reaping hooks, shovel handles and scythe blades. Major Roche said that the signal for the fray was one of the Leaders from either side brandishing a heavy Blackthorn, shouted or Wheeled as they called it in those days, a fighting slogan such as “Here is agin the Brandy Carrolls, or Down with the Leddins of Ballycahill. Such war cries calling to Battle supporters by the hundred to each Clan or Parish, and the good fight once started went on merrily for hours, the fair green being covered with casualties. Some dead, more dangerously wounded and minor broken heads by the hundred. The fight usually ended up by about 20 or 30 men from each Clan left able to carry on the Good Work to the finish.


Lanty Gubbins owned this thatched public house in 1878, but it was probably a pub long before then. It was in the ownership of his great-grandson, Paddy Tierney, in 2005. Although rural thatched pubs were once common, Tierney’s has become a national treasure because so many others have closed in recent decades.


A square tower, sometimes called a friars castle, is perhaps the most unusual feature of the medieval church of Dromin, which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1410. It became a Protestant parish church after the Reformation in the 16th century, but was abandoned by 1790. The overall ruin is substantial and the surrounding graveyard has many interesting 19th century headstones. Dromin Graveyard has yet to be surveyed on Historicgraves.com


The Great Famine struck Ireland between 1845 and 1851. Major Roche described the famine, as he heard of it from a man born locally in 1818. The famine and disease spread havoc on Dromin Parish. Hundreds died in 1847 and bodies lay unburied for weeks. The survivors were too ill and too weak from hunger to be able to render the usual decent formalities on the death of their friends and neighbours. The Emigrant Ships swept away all the younger folk who remained.

the famine


A Cheshire firm, Watson Brothers, erected a creamery opposite Trinity Well in 1892. It took in about 6,000 gallons of milk a day from local farmers, for which, in its first year, they were paid two pence and three farthings (2.75 pence, or three cent) per gallon (4.546 litres). Butter at the creamery sold at eight pence (ten cent) per pound. The creamery closed in 1925. This site is now private property.

Milk Barrels


Until the early 20th century, thousands annually visited the blessed well of the Holy Trinity. Pilgrims recited rosaries and walked the rounds of the well. They believed that its waters cured eye troubles and other illnesses. A pool beside the well was used for bathing children.

Full of Little Surprises

Dromin, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

The garden is open to visitors from May to September. There are weekly guided tours and fortnightly open days. All other times are by appointment. Groups welcomeAdmission: €5 per adult, €3 per child

Sorry the garden is unsuitable for children under 8 years old.

Weekly guided tours are €10 and include tea and scone. As places are limited to 10 people per tour booking is essential.

Teas/coffees & cakes can be booked by prior arrangement for large groups, otherwise there is a small self-service tea house for drinks and snacks always available for visitors.


The garden is also home to Terra Nova Plants, a small, but newly expanded nursery that specialises in rare and out of the ordinary plants plus now we also have a dinky little gift shop full of hand selected gifts!Toilet available.Terra Nova is situated approximately 6km off the N20 and is well signposted. Parking is available on the roadside and can comfortably accommodate coaches.

Guided Tours

Personal Tours with Deborah

Join her on a guided tour of Terra Nova. Tours start at 11am and last for approx 60-90mins. Groups are limited to 10 people to ensure personal attention.

Mixed Bouquet Tours – Now here’s something a little different. Two tours taking place at the same time, the garden seen from two different perspectives. Choose Deborah to look at plant content & garden design or choose Martin to get to the brass tacks of the garden, the hard landscaping and construction. We feel that this would suit couples and should hold interest for both novice and more experienced gardeners. Tours start at 3pm and last for approx 60-90mins. Groups are limited to 10 people to ensure personal attention. The cost is €10 per tour and includes tea/coffee and scones. Booking is essential and places are secured by a deposit of €5. 10% discount on plants and gifts to all participants


Open Days

Season Tickets Available

Open days 12am-6pm

They have a series of special open days lined up for the summer, each with a central theme to add to the fun. Entrance is €5 per adult or €3 per child (over 8’s only) or why not take advantage of our new season ticket which at 12 euro is great value as it allows you to come to any of our seven open days.

Terra Nova Garden

Martin & Deborah Begley

Dromin, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

Web: http://www.terranovaplants.com/

Email: terranovagardens@eircom.net

Phone: 063 90744

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terranovagardens?fref=ts

Price: Adults €5/ Children over 8 yrs €3 (Sorry, the garden is not suitable for children under 8)