kids encyclopedia robot

Desmond Castle (Kinsale) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Desmond Castle
Caisleán Deasmhumhan
Cork Street, Kinsale in Republic of Ireland
Kinsale - Desmond Castle - 20080318152648.jpg
Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
Coordinates 51°42′27″N 8°31′50″W / 51.7075°N 8.5306°W / 51.7075; -8.5306
Type Tower house
Site information
Owner Office of Public Works
Open to
the public
Site history
Built c. 1500
Built by Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Desmond
Materials limestone, slate, red brick, wrought iron, timber, glass
Battles/wars Siege of Kinsale (1601–02)

Desmond Castle (Irish: Caisleán Deasmhumhan) is a tower house located in the town of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland.


Customs and Excise, Wine Museum, Desmond Castle, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Reproduction of the customs post
Maurice Fitzgerald meeting and greeting at Desmond Castle, Kinsale, Co. Cork
A statue of the 9th Earl of Desmond welcomes visitors.

The castle was built as the Customs House for Kinsale about the year 1500 by Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Desmond, following the grant of the customs of the port of Kinsale to the Earls of Desmond by King Henry VII in 1497. Presumably there must have been an earlier structure on the site as the 1st Earl was Captain of Desmond Castle.

It was used as a Customs House until 1641 when it was converted into a naval prison, following the construction of a new Customs House. The prisoners kept in the Castle were in the main French and Spanish, and the building became known locally as the "French Prison" as a result.

In January 1747, a fire broke out, killing 54 of the prisoners. In 1791, the castle was donated by James Kearney MP to the town of Kinsale, and it was subsequently used as a town gaol till 1846, and during the Irish Famine as a workhouse. In 1938, it was taken into government hands, and in the 1990s was restored and opened to the public by the Office of Public Works.

International Museum of Wine

Wine Museum, Desmond Castle, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Interior of wine museum

In 1997, the International Museum of Wine, which details the links between Ireland and the wine trade, and is run by the Order of the Wine Geese, was added.

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
Desmond Castle (Kinsale) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.