Posted by: travelrat | November 25, 2011

First Look at Kinsale


Kinsale: September 14th, 2011

We spent the morning of the first day looking around Kinsale, and generally orientating ourselves. I should have done this immediately on arrival, for the sun rose that morning in a totally unexpected quarter. I started by turning the wrong way as we left the property, and enjoyed a winding, single-track unsigned road for about 30 minutes, when we finally emerged at Charles Fort, we finally knew exactly where on the Earth’s surface, we were.

We just took a few photographs from the outside of the fort for now; an exploration could wait till later.

We had a good feeling about Kinsale right from the start. The first car park we tried had a sign, not only giving the prices, but directions to other car parks nearby where free parking could be had.

There were two walking tours on offer, as well as a ride on a land train, but we did our morning exploration on our own. First, along the quay, to inspect the replica mast of a Spanish galleon, erected to commemorate the Spanish participation in the Battle of Kinsale, in 1601.

This seems to have been completely ignored by our history lessons! Either that, or I was asleep during that bit, which is probable, for the average School English History is somewhat soporific!

Now, this was never intended to be a history primer, so I’ll be as brief and concise as I can.

England had been claiming sovereignty over Ireland since the 12th Century, but it wasn’t till the 16th Century that measures began to be seriously taken to this end. The Irish, naturally, wanted none of it, and their rebellion escalated to what became known as the Nine Years’ War.

Felipe III of Spain saw an opportunity here to take a little payback for the defeat of the Spanish Armada earlier, as well as diverting English forces from the Continent, especially the Netherlands, which was engaged in a long rebellion against Spanish rule.

He sent men and materials to Kinsale, which landed there in October 1601, where they fought valiantly in defence of the town against English forces. Eventually, though, they had to surrender, and were honourably treated, and allowed to return to Spain with their colours still flying.

We found little snippets of history like this around almost every corner, and marvelled at Kinsale’s place in the scheme of things. Which is remarkable, because, six months before, we knew little of it but the name!




  1. Hi Keith,
    It certainly sounds like a place with a lot of history, it would of been interesting walking around a learning a bit about that history. it looks like an ideal place, the water really looks nice. 🙂

    • There is so much history here; it’s going to be difficult to explain things concisely, without appearing too scholarly about it.

      But, I’ll try!

  2. Kinsale is a beautiful heritage town, and its history is a big part of its charm, that’s for sure. But even if you don’t know the first thing about Irish history, Kinsale is still amazing, especially the harbor!

  3. WOW. What a rich history. I had no idea. Sounds like a fabulously interesting place to visit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: