Waterville village provides a popular promenade where one can look across toward Ballinskelligs and the knife-edge horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. It is nestled beside the beautiful Lough Currane which is renowned for the some of the best Salmon & Sea Trout Angling in Europe. The town’s name in the Irish language ‘an Coirean’ refers to the river in the case of the “The Little Whirlpool”, or “The Sickle” refers to the shape of Ballinskelligs Bay on which the town sits. The town is sited on a narrow isthmus, with Lough Currane on the east side of the town, and Ballinskelligs Bay on the west, and the Currane River connecting the two.
STARGAZING: Waterville is in the Buffer Zone of the KerryIDSR. Due to the orangey glow of the many public street lights the Dark-Sky for which the KerryIDSR received its reward cannot be viewed here. The night sky isn’t that bad once one gets away from the town, and the Inney Bridge at the entrance to Waterville has an excellent Dark Sky, the only drawback is the occasional passing car, but still, this spot is well worth the visit. A fifteen minute drive to the other side of Waterville will bring you to the KerryIDSR Core Zone and the excellent Stargazing site at Lohar. Download KerryIDSR PDF tourist map here
Dramatic sunsets can be frequently viewed while strolling along the promenade. If you don’t have a camera you’ll wish you had one to capture the wonderful sky colors presented as the earth turns away from the Sun and faces into the night.
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EIGHTERCUA AT NIGHT
EIGHTERCUA BY DAY
Just outside the village you come to the ancient standing stone row of Eightercua testament to how our ancestors once marked the passing of the Season’s, and the phases of the Moon. This stone row appears to point towards another stone row at Cill Rialaig across Ballinskellig’s Bay. Each stone weighs many tens if not hundreds of tons and was carefully selected before being dragged, pulled or rolled up inclines and hills, a feat that would have taken the combined efforts of many many people. The placement of these stones was taken very seriously by our ancestors with many measurements and makings taken before they were finally laid out with fine-tuned precision facing north, south, east and west following in the path of the Sun, Moon and possibly some brighter stars or significant Constellations. All this indicates that the early settlers of Ireland had a serious intent in figuring out the heavens and the seasons. Previous to the erection of the stones wood would have been used to firmly mark out the placements and alignments. Such stone monuments are among the first indicators of early science, evidence that our ancestors were also trying to understand the world we live in, and our place within the whole plan of nature.
The first successful transatlantic cable was finally laid after a number of attempts in 1865 by the Anglo American Telegraph Company between Heart’s Content in Newfoundland and Labrador and Valentia Island near Waterville. In the 1880s, Cyrus Field’s Commercial Cable Company laid the first Transatlantic telegraph cable from the nearby townland of Spunkane to Canso, Nova Scotia. The cable station brought much activity to Waterville and increased the town’s size.