Kelly Kettle – Ireland’s best kept secret?
Camping Kettle and cooking stove.
The first Kelly Kettle dates back to the 1890’s to a small farm on the shores of Lough Conn, County Mayo, Ireland, when a young Patrick Kelly (Great grand-father of the current Co. Directors), a small farmer and fisherman, developed his first kettle from Tin after a cold winter of tinkering and experimenting in a shed. The kettle worked extremely well but burned out from regular use on Lough Conn when Patrick was fishing for Trout & Salmon the following summer. After going through a number of Tin kettles, he developed the kettle in copper and this was found to be much more durable. News of his kettle spread among local anglers and it received wondrous looks from anglers visiting from the U.K.
The tradition of using the Kelly Kettle as a method of boiling water at lunchtime, goes back to the 1890’s in the West Coast of Ireland and the design has changed little since it was first introduced. Lough Conn was, and still is, famous for its free rising brown trout and fresh run Salmon from the River Moy system. The lake provided (and still provides) ample fuel for use in the kettle, where washed up twigs, sticks and dried grass were easily available. On wet & stormy days, the local angling guides would keep watch for the small pillar of smoke on the lake shore which indicated that a colleague already had a ‘brew’ on! A hot cup of tea or soup awaited anyone who landed and the Kettle would be repeatedly boiled as additional boats laden with anglers arrived. Tradition dictates that both the angling guide and his guests (usually 2 anglers to his boat) together would gather dry tinder for the kettle from the lake shore. Then, the guide will set about boiling up the kettle which always amazed guests as it works even in the height of a storm! The Anglers will then be offered their fresh tea from the Kelly Kettle and in return for his hospitality, the boatman/guide received lunch and perhaps a drop of whiskey from the anglers!
The Kelly family still provide a Boat Hire & Ghillie service on Lough Conn. Visiting anglers are as intrigued today as they were some hundred years ago with the speed at which the water can be boiled and through word of mouth, these anglers have spread word about the kettles worldwide.
Increasingly gaining in popularity, Kelly Kettles are now sold all over the world from the USA, Canada, UK, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and as far away as Japan, Zambia, South Korea & Australia. Once exclusively used by anglers, Kelly Kettles are now seen as essential camping equipment/gear and are been used by all types of outdoor enthusiasts such as explorers, Kayakers, hill walkers, Car Campers, Scouts, Hunters, Gardeners or as a vital item in emergency preparedness & wilderness survival kits.
We love ours! Come in and see it for yourself and you’ll see why as well!