Courtaparteen "The Lost Village" of de Courcey Country

The town land of Courtaparteen is positioned on a most scenic coastal patch of land beside Sandycove, Kinsale. The area was once a thriving village back in the 1800's where up to 150 people lived in stone cottages and survived from small parcals of land and fishing. Everyone had their own small patch of land and lived happily raising their families for many years. The village was also home to two healing wells and the ruins of a 6th century church and graveyard. 

Sadly the place is now all but deserted and overgrown with only the ruins of houses left. So what happened to the village of Courtaparteen? Why did everyone leave? First thoughts were the famine, but upon further research in my local library it appears that something else was at play.

Some people sold their patches of land to other family's in the village before emigrating or moving to other neighbourhoods nearby due to marriage or widowed. Eventually the land was bought up by three farming families (Desmonds, Kelly's and Manning's).

The Kinsale Record reads

William Desmond was a progressive farmer who read modern farming books of the time and was one of the earliest exponents of silage. By 1851, his former sub tenant Timothy Madden had gone and he had taken over the house and land of a Desmond family member. Along with Patrick Manning and Charles Kelly, the three reigned like conquerors at the top of the hill, the majority of residents living 'below them' literaly and financially. The De Courcey family were initially the landlords of the area who oversaw the land transactions. However when the Irish Land Act came into law in 1881, farmers in the area were given opportunities to buy land by the Government. The Desmonds, Kellys and Manning now had their own land and in turn developed a landlord-tenant relationship with other families in the area. Decades went by and as the land holdings of the Desmonds, Mannings and the Kellys were increasing, the population of Courtaparteen was decreasing. From 91 in 1851, 69 in 1861 and a woeful low of a mere 39 in 1871. It seemed that Courtaparteen was to vanish sooner than expected. By 1911, the population of Courtaprteen was at 32.

The rich soil at the top of Courtaparteen

Image credit: Simon Toussifar

A view at the top fields of Courtaparteen overlooking Sandycove Island

Image credit: Simon Toussifar

Coastline view from Courtaparteen. 
Image credit: Simon Toussifar



Courtaparteen Graveyard. 

 Image credit: Simon Toussifar

 
Window of the 6th Century Church at Courtaparteen.  
Image credit: Simon Toussifar

Window inside one of the ruins that once were part of the village.  

Image credit: Simon Toussifar

The first healing Well at Courtaparteen at the top of the steps.  

Image credit: Simon Toussifar

The second healing Well at the base of the steps at Courtaparteen  
Image credit: Simon Toussifar


 

 


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