Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Social, Technical
1870 - 1890
Railway tunnel, built c. 1880, having an approximate length of 100 metres with rock cut approach cuttings to sides (east and west). Entrances to side (east, west) elevations having round-headed arches with rusticated limestone voussoirs springing from rusticated limestone piers. Roughly dressed limestone spandrels below roughly dressed limestone parapet walls with rusticated limestone cornice. Snecked roughly dressed stone walls and soffits to interior of tunnel having rubbed red brick voussoirs to crown of arch. Round-headed recesses to internal (north, south) elevations of tunnel having rubbed red brick voussoirs and red brick block-and-start surrounds. Gravel track way leading through tunnel with open water drains to sides (north, south).
The Barnagh Tunnel is one of the more evocative features of the now closed Limerick to Tralee Railway and is a significant feature within the architectural heritage of south County Limerick. Of a considerable length, the tunnel is approached through substantial rock cuttings. Typical of nineteenth-century railway engineering, the tunnel features well executed components including fine arches, interior walls and soffits. Internal recesses also display a high attention to detail with red brick voussoirs and surrounds drawing further interest. Although no longer used by trains, the track has been recently converted into a leisure trail stretching some 53 miles, providing an important amenity to not only the local community but also in developing tourism within the area. The disused track also provides rich habitat for plants and animals with nine species of bat recorded living in the Barnagh Tunnel.