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Kinsale Attractions

Charles Fort

Charles Fort was constructed in the late 17th century on the site of an earlier coastal fortification. Charles Fort is a classic example of a star-shaped fort and has five bastions. The two seaward bastions, the Devil's and the Charles' were for defending the harbour and both are casemated - that is, they have gun embrasures inside as well as on top of the walls.

The North, Flagstaff and the Cockpit, are the three landward bastions and all three had a brick sentry box at their outermost point, two of these still survive. William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin, is credited with designing the Fort. Across the estuary is James Fort, an earlier structure, which was designed by Paul Ivy in 1602. In 1690 after the 'Battle of the Boyne' the Williamite forces arrived at Kinsale and attacked both forts. Guided tours available. Restricted access for people with disabilities due to uneven terrain.

Desmond Castle

Desmond Castle (French Prison) Cork Street, Kinsale, built as a custom house by the Earl of Desmond c. AD 1500. Desmond Castle has had a colourful history, ranging from Spanish occupation in 1601 to use as a prison for captured American sailors during the American War of Independence. Known locally as 'The French Prison' after a tragic fire in which 54 prisoners, mainly French seamen, died in 1747. The castle was also used as a borough jail from 1791 to the onset of the Great Famine when it was used as an auxiliary workhouse tending to the starving populace.

Over the main entrance to the castle you may see the Geraldine arms, bees on a quartered shield, while high above is displayed a mirror image of the royal arms. The well constructed building, founded on rock, consists of a keep with storehouses to the rear. The former is a fine example of a town castle with domestic offices on the first and second floors. A variety of window forms, beneath the Irish stepped battlements, add interest to the main facade. Presently it houses the Museum of Wine..

Kinsale Crystal

Kinsale Crystal is a family run business, specialising in producing premium, full leaded, hand-cut, & mouth-blown, 100% Irish Crystal.All of our designs and patterns are unique and are inspired by traditional Irish styles. There are many beautiful peaces on offer online and from the crystal shop in Kinsale such as vases and Brandy & Whiskey Decanters, lamps, miscellaneous Kinsale Crystal small gift items and pieces from the Prisma Collection. Kinsale Crystal would make a lovely wedding gift for some one.

The Courthouse or Market House

The Courthouse Kinsale or The Market House built in the 1600's used as a Courthouse and where the inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania took place, is now Kinsale's Regional Museum where you will find nautical items from olden times, blacksmith items, lace and more.

St. Multose Church

St. Multose Church Kinsale is located just a short walk from Kinsale town centre. Built in the 1100's, it dates back to Norman times and is recorded as one of the oldest Protestant Churches in Ireland. The graveyard on the Church grounds are where several of the victims from the sinking of the Lusitania, which sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915, were buried.

James Fort

James Fort in Kinsale is an example of a Star Fort which was built to protect Kinsale town. The area around James Fort offers panaromic views of Kinsale and out to the sea, wonderful on a sunny day.

The Almshouse

The Almshouses in Kinsale were built in the 1600's to house destitute people in the locality.