Fermoy (Irish: Mainistir Fhear Maí meaning "Monastery of the Men of the plain") is a town in North County Cork (population approx. 5,800) in the south of Ireland situated on the banks of the river Blackwater in the heart of the picturesque Blackwater Valley. The town's name comes from the Irish language and refers to a Cisterian abbey founded in the 13th century here. At the dissolution of the monasteries during the Tudor period, the abbey and its lands went into decline and by the late 18th century, the was little more than a few cabins and an inn remaining.
The town has its roots in two main traditions: Religious and Military. A Cistercian Abbey was founded in 1170 and around this Abbey the town developed. At the dissolution of the Monasteries during the Tudor period, the Abbey and its lands passed through the following dynasties: Viscount Rote of Fermoy, Sir Richard Grenville, Robert Boyle, Scientist ("Boyle's Law"), and William Forward. Fermoy today still retains the religious tradition and three orders are currently educating the young population. In 1791 the lands were bought by a Scotsman, John Anderson. He was an entrepreneur who developed the roads and started the mail coach system in Ireland. He designed the town and the streets remain much the same as they were originally built. In the early 19th Century he offered cheap sites to the military and the town fast became a manufacturing and services base for the British army until 1922 when Ireland gained independance from Great Britain.
In latter years Fermoy has been renowned for its attraction as an inland fishing and tourist centre and has an international appeal for trout, salmon and coarse fishing. There are many historical houses, castles and ancient monuments in the area including the largest of Ireland's wedge tombs dating from 2000BC at Labbacallee (Irish: Leaba Chaillí "Hag's Bed") located 8km north-west of Fermoy. A few minutes from the southern end of the town one can climb Corrin Hill and catch the majestic view of north Cork, south Limerick, west Waterford and south Tipperary. Other local amenities include the Ballyhoura Mountains with plenty of walking and cycling trails, and the Galtee Mountains, where at over 900 M one has a panoramic view of the beautiful Glen of Aherlow.
Head east towards county Waterford for 23KM and through the village of Ballyduff to the town of Lismore which is famous for its castle (current residence of The Duke of Devonshire) and St. Cartages Cathedral and monastery founded by the saint in 636 AD.
For further information on history and hertitage of the area click here.
See the famous Fermoy viaduct in the 1965 film The Blue Max click here.