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Desmond Castle

Desmond Castle
Cork St.,
Co. Cork,
P17 TY09,
Phone: +353 21 477-4855

Local Information: Kinsale, Co. Cork

About Desmond Castle

  • Desmond Castle

Built as a custom house by the Earl of Desmond c. AD 1500, Desmond Castle has 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. The International Museum of Wine opened in Desmond Castle in 1997. It features an exhibition which documents the intriguing story of Ireland's wine links with Europe and the wider world from the early modern period to the present day. Access to site is by stone stairway.

Pictures and text courtesy of

Desmond Castle Map

Note: Map is an approximate indication ONLY. Please contact Desmond Castle for directions and precise location prior to your visit.

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