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Tralee Town

Tralee is the capital town of County Kerry, and celebrated its 800 birthday in 2016. The town was founded in the early 13th century by the Anglo Normans and takes its name from the River Lee, which flows into Tralee Bay.

The main features of the medieval townscape were threefold. There was the Great Castle, which stood on the site where Denny Street presently stands, the Dominican Friary which stood where the Abbey Car Park now lies, and also The Earls of Desmond later used Tralee as a base to consolidate their power in the province of Munster.

When the town revolted against the policies of Queen Elizabeth of England in 1580, the medieval town was burnt. In 1587 Elizabeth granted Tralee to Edward Denny, whose family association with the town endured for three hundred years. In 1613, Tralee was created a borough by Royal charter and the Town Charter is now held in the County Library, Tralee. Tralee town really began to modernise and come into its own in the 19th century. Day Place, Staughton's Row and Prince's Quay were constructed early on, and the town's most elegant street, Denny Street, was completed in 1826 on the site of the Great Castle. In 1835, The Courthouse was built, and was later restored. A great boost to the town was the arrival of the railway in 1859, and of course the Tralee Ship Canal which was put in place in 1846 both adding to the town's prosperity.

Tralee is Kerry’s busiest market town, drawing people from the districts all around to the local shops and stores. With a host of bookshops, antiques and craft shops tucked away in old lanes, high street stores and leading department stores located on town's main streets, and with Manor West Retail park on the edge of town, shopping in Tralee offers choice in abundance.