One of the earliest references to Knocknagoshel is contained in a census report for 1659, which states that the townland had 25 households. Knocknagoshel features more prominently, when Richard Griffith began his road-building project.

Griffith arrived in Kerry in 1822. He was especially concerned with the district along the Cork, Kerry and Limerick border. He hoped to improve the living conditions of the people by improving the roads. There was a lot of
poverty because much of the area was inaccessible and uncultivated. Things
changed thanks to Griffith's road building. It was now possible to draw lime
by horse and cart to fertilize the land. Many local people were employed in the road building project. The money that they earned meant that many could improve their living conditions.