Bonane derives its name from Fionn Mac Cumhall, the legendary leader of the Fianna, who maintained a Both or hunting lodge here – hence the old Gaelic name Both-Fhionáin or Fionn’s house, now anglicised to Bonane. The peace and tranquillity of Bonane would have provided the perfect retreat after his gruesome battle with the fearsome giant Ein (after whom Neidin, now Kenmare, is named). During the battle so fierce was the fighting that, according to legend, “they made the hard ground soft and the soft ground hard!”
The first settlers arrived about 6,000 years ago and the wealth of multi-period archaeological monuments found in Bonane provides an indelible link to these people.
These monuments are amongst the best preserved in Western Europe, due in particular to the relatively poor quality of the soil with a consequent absence of intensive or mechanised farming methods.