KINSALE is one of the oldest towns in County Cork. Situated in the estuary of the River Bandon, it is a place of great antiquity, a market town, sea port and prominent sailing centre. This picturesque resort is a centre for sea angling, golf and gourmet eating.


The headland 10km south of the town is known as the Old Head of Kinsale. It is a well-known landmark to mariners on the south coast and is a nationally important breeding site for seabirds including Guillemot, Razorbill and Kittiwake.

The Battle of Kinsale in December 1601 between English, Spanish and Irish forces was a turning point in Irish history.

The Spanish fleet, aiding the Irish rebellion against English rule, landed at Kinsale in the autumn of 1601. The Spanish forces under the command of Don Juan D'Aquila took possession of Kinsale as the English forces laid siege to the town. The army of Earl O'Neil from Ulster marched on Kinsale to give support to the Spaniards but was routed with great slaughter. The battle is significant because it was one of the last great battles fought on Irish soil, increasing the exodus of Irish soldiers, churchmen and Gaelic lords to the continent of Europe. This became known as the Flight of the Earls and ended an era of Gaelic society in Ireland.

Charles Fort was built in the early 1680s and is named in honour of Charles II, the then reigning monarch. In the 17th century, Kinsale was a safe haven for ships and an important trading town. Charles Fort was built on the eastern bank (along with James Fort on the western bank) to protect the town. Star-shaped in design, the fort has zigzag walls to provide cross-fire from several directions against any attacker. It was occupied by James II (Charles IIís successor in 1690, but was taken by his Williamite opponents, who exploited its one weak spot by firing down from the high ground behind.

There are a number of sandy beaches in the Kinsale area, some with the International Blue Flag Award.

The Lusitania, a British ocean liner was sunk by a German submarine on May 7th 1915 in sight of the Old Head of Kinsale. Returning from New York to Liverpool, 1,198 out of 1,959 passengers and crew were lost. The sinking contributed indirectly to the entry of the U.S. into World War 1. A memorial stone is located at the Old Head of Kinsale.

Kinsale is well endowed with many excellent owner-run restaurants and is known as the 'gourmet capital of Irelandí. Local fishermen provide their catch for the fine dishes served in the restaurants.

Kinsale with its renowned sailing club is a base frequented by sailing yachts from all over the world.




 Home | Kerry | Mizen | West Cork | Wildlife | Order Form | Links


J Earley, Earlybird Productions
 Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland
Telephone:+353 28 22760  Email: click here