Desmond Castle

Desmond Castle

Desmond Castle was built by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500. A fine example of an urban tower house, the castle consists of a three storey keep with storehouses to the rear. 

Originally built as a Customs house, the castle also served as a prison in the 18th century (it is known locally as the French Prison) an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and as a workhouse during the Great Famine. By the early decades of the 20th Century Desmond castle had fallen into decay. It was declared a National Monument in 1938.  Today Desmond Castle hosts the International Museum of Wine Exhibition, an intriguing story that documents the unique history of Ireland's wine links with Europe and the wider world.

For more information and to arrange a visit go to Desmond Castle.  

The OPW offers free access to all OPW managed Heritage Sites to school-going children under their Free Schools Visits programme. This Programme is intended to support the educational curriculum and children can, with their teachers, engage with many relevant aspects of their learning including art, history and social science at these historic & heritage locations throughout the country. 

Text courtesy of Heritage Ireland.