This small, squat stone fortress doesn’t really look like a castle, in part because it sits incongruously half way up a residential street. Built around 1500 as the Customs house for Kinsale Harbour, in the late 17th century it was turned into a prison—at which time its history took several dark detours, including a fire that gutted the building in 1747, roasting alive the 54 French soldiers imprisoned within. Later, during the potato famine, it was used as a workhouse. Inside is an unusual little museum, which tells the extraordinary tale of the Irish exiles who helped transform the global wine trade from the 17th century onward.
Cork St., Kinsale, Co. Cork
Our Rating Hours Mid-Apr to early Oct daily 10am–6pm. Closed early Oct to mid-Apr Phone 021/477-4855 Prices Admission €5 adults; €4 seniors, students, and children; €13 families Web site Desmond Castle
MapCork St., Kinsale, Co. Cork Kinsale
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.