When the Celts neared the Irish coast, their long itinerary over, some settled on the Old Head of Kinsale which became their fortress. Later as they needed a safe harbour, the town of Kinsale was built and fortified and its narrow streets have echoed to the tramp of mariners for 1400 years.
The story of Kinsale is evocative of the national and European struggle. The harbour’s ring of sheltering hills have run red with blood and gore as men from all over Europe fought hand to hand and knife to sword, each attacking and counter attacking in turn.
Living inside the town’s battlements, women and children would often remain indoors for days, virtual prisoners, as cannon ball from ship and shore rained down. The 1601 Battle alone lasted from mid-September to Christmas Day.
A strange sail could mean Pirate or Buccaneer, Man of War or Turk. The beginning of the end came when a cry went up from France that men were free, were Equal and were Brethren all.
The Tourist takes up where the military left off. The town is outrageously pretty, with walks in the surrounding hills, you may hear as many as ten languages in one day in Kinsale.
At night, if you’re lucky, the ghosts of dead heroes may walk a little with you and remind you of an age when a man lived by his eye for the wind and the keenness of his blade!
Welcome to KinsaleFailte go dtí Cionn tSáile
Charles FortMagnificent fortress, concentration camp & torture centre. The very name was enough to strike terror into Spanish, French or Irish prisoners.
Old Head of KinsaleBy the time sailors identified the Old Head of Kinsale it was already too late.
French PrisonIn this notorious prison up to 600 French navy men were incarcerated.54 perished in a fire on 17th January 1747.