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Baltimore

Baltimore Village in West Cork Ireland

The islands and peninsulas of West Cork jut into the North Atlantic swell. They're a paradise for walkers and birdwatchers and are not yet swamped by tourists but it may not remain undiscovered for long.

The picturesque village of Baltimore, is situated at the end of one of these West Cork's peninsulas with the island of Sherkin providing a sheltered Harbour & bay ideal for watersports - diving, deep sea angling, sailing, boating, fishing, and ferries, and boasts of pubs, restaurants, hotels, and boasts of pubs, restaurants and hotels. Famed for its breathtaking scenery and wild life and with an abundance of things to do in West Cork, its easy to see why its a world renowned holiday destination. Gulls shriek and swirl above the beaches, gannets nest in crevices in rugged cliffs and whales, dolphins and seals are often seen in the West Cork Coastline.

Use the AA's route planner to work out routes, distances and journey times from other towns, cities, Airports, & Ferryports in Ireland.

Towards the end of July 1847, Commander James Wolfe, R.N., informed the Ballast Board that he had recently completed a survey of Baltimore Harbour and noticed the destruction of the Beacon on the eastern point of the southern entrance to the harbour. 

George Halpin, the Board's inspector was ordered to report the matter which he did the following month, stating that the original, locally built Beacon was two small, poorly built and had been vandalised. He recommended a large and properly constructed Beacon with which the Board concurred.

Almost a year passed, 6th July 1848, before the Board requested the secretary to seek permission from Lord Carbery for a piece of ground thirty feet in diameter, on which to build the Beacon. By the end of July a reply had been received from Mr. Arthur Perry-Aylmer informing the Board that Lady Carbery of Castle Freke near Rosscarbery had given her full permission to either rebuild or re-construct the existing Beacon and granted free access as the Beacon was a matter of such vast importance to fishermen and others.

By February 1849 inspector George Halpin reported that the masonry work of the Beacon was complete but the iron staff and vane still had to be placed on top.

The conspicuous conical white painted Baltimore Beacon, sometimes called the 'pillar of salt' or 'Lott's wife' is approximately fifty feet (15.2m) high and fifteen feet (4.6m) in diameter at the base. The vent, mentioned by Halpin in 1849 was obviously vulnerable and at a later date was replaced by a sphere.

In addition to enjoying the wonder of the Baltimore Beacon and enjoying the spectacular views from its location, there are many other areas of interest, activities and things to in West Cork

Baltimore has two state-of-the-art RNLI lifeboats on station – the Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat City of Bradford V and the new Tamar class all-weather boat Alan Massey. 

Alan Massey is 16.3 metres long with a speed of 25 knots. She carries a crew of seven and is of immensely strong reinforced plastic construction. Unlike previous Baltimore lifeboats she is kept permanently afloat. Her smaller sister, City of Bradford, is a 7.3 metre twin-engined inflatable with a crew of three. She is capable of a speed of 32 knots and can operate in winds up to near-gale force 7. The two vessels with their highly trained crews represent the latest in lifeboat technology and continue a proud lifesaving tradition at Baltimore that dates back to the early years of the twentieth century.


The Baltimore lifeboat station was built in 1915, but owing to the war the first lifeboat did not arrive until 1919. She had been launched as the Duke of Connacht, but because of sentiment in the wake of the Easter Rising of 1916 her name was changed to the Shamrock before she arrived in Baltimore. This boat was not replaced until 1950, since when there have been five other lifeboats stationed at Baltimore.


The station has seen more than 600 launches and the saving of more than 250 lives. The lifeboat was deeply involved in events of the tragic Fastnet yacht race of 1979, rescuing the crippled yachts Regardless and Marionette in force 10 winds and 40-foot seas. The Robert was the first lifeboat to put to sea and spent longer at sea than any of the other lifeboats involved in the rescue operation. In the same year the lifeboat assisted in transferring an injured man to Bantry Hospital following a mutiny aboard a Greek container ship. One of the most headline-grabbing rescues was that of the then leader of the opposition, Charles Haughey, when his yacht sank at Mizen Head in October 1985. A more unusual assignment in 2007 was the recovery of bales of cocaine from a failed drug smuggling operation in the same area.


Like other lifeboats, Baltimore lifeboat is crewed by volunteers. The mechanic, Cathal Cottrell, is the only full-time crew member. Down the years Baltimore crews have been honoured for gallantry many times, being awarded a total of seven Silver and three Bronze Medals. Coxswain Kieran Cotter was awarded a Bronze Medal and the crew Letters of Appreciation for a double rescue in October 1991. In a temporary lifeboat, the Good Shepherd, they rescued a Spanish fishing boat, the Japonica, with 15 men on board in storm force winds 20 miles west of the Fastnet Rock and towed her into Bantry. On her way back to Baltimore the lifeboat had to put in to Castletownbere to land an injured crew member and received another distress call to a yacht in difficulties south of the Fastnet. This boat, too, was found and towed safely to Baltimore. The lifeboat was at sea for a total of 26 hours. For this service Kieran also received the Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of lifesaving in 1991.

In February 2012 the long-serving Tyne Class lifeboat Hilda Jarrett made way for the Alan Massey. Along withthe inshore lifeboat City of Bradford, the new all-weather boat reinforces Baltimore's position in the vanguard of lifesaving services in Ireland.

Baltimore Weather

The wild atlantic pool

info@baltimorepool.ie

02820622

16.5 Meter Swimming Pool

 

Bubble pool, 
Water fountain

Children's Pool

Jacuzzi

Sauna

Steamroom

Gymnasium consisting of:

2 x Treadmills
2 x Bikes
Skiing Machine
Concept 2 rowing machine
2 x Stair Masters and 
a wide range of machine weights

 

Opening  Hours 

Monday & Thursday                                     8.00am - 10.00pm         Children welcome                                                                                                                          up until 7.00pm

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday                       8.00am - 9.00pm          Children welcome                                                                                                                          up until 7.00pm

Saturday , Sunday & Bank holidays                 9.00 am - 8.00pm       Children welcome                                                                                                                         up until 7.00pm

 

Public Sessions:

Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna & Steamroom available. (Gymnasium not included)

Adult: €10.00

Student: €7.00

Child: €5.00

Please contact pool to check availability   Tel 028 20622    Email info@baltimorepool.ie

It has an interesting history but nowadays justly famous as a holiday resort & fishing port - an ideal base for touring the magnificient West Cork Area.Most remarkable Baltimore Story is the tale of a Dutch-Algerian pirate who in 1631 sacked Baltimore and sold 160 inhabitants into slavery in the Middle East. Eventually a new village was founded, this time up the shallow river in Skibbereen, where pirate ships could not follow.Baltimore:

A rough story of Baltimore through the ages

Baltimore (formerly an incorporated and parliamentary borough), the oldest town in West Carbery, was established  2000 years ago by Lug 11th. His decendents formed the O'Driscoll Clan, who at one stage owned all of the land  from Kenmare to the Bandon river.
Baltimore is supposed to have been a sanctuary of the Druids and one of the principal seats of the Idolatrous worship of Baal, hence its present name, 
Beal-Ti-More, signifying in the Irish Language, "the great habitation of Beal", is probably derived.

C. 1200 - O'Driscoll's ruled from Castlehaven to Roaring Water Bay.
C. 1210 - King John founded County Cork. He had a hunting lodge at Loughine.
C. 1215 - Dun na Sead castle built.
C. 1261 - The O'Driscolls obtained the castles in Baltimore, Sherkin, Reengarogy, & Loughine from Lord Slynie.
C. 1305 - The castle of Dun na Sead was burned and demolished by Domhnall Got MacCarthaigh after he had taken it from the English of Desmond.

C. 1368 - O'Driscoll's raid Waterford, slaying the mayor, the sheriff, 36 burgesses and 60 strangers trading in the town.
C. 1413 - Waterford sailors gained entry to the O'Driscoll castle in Baltimore during a banquet and took the O'Driscoll's and some of their relations to Waterford as prisoners.
C. 1460 - The Friary & School of Sherkin were dedicated for the Franciscans of Strict Observance.
C. 1537 - Fineen O'Driscoll and his son Gilly Dubh went to the aid of 4 Portuguese bound for Waterford with a cargo of 100 tons of wine and piloted them safely into Baltimore Harbour, put the Portugues in irons and confiscated the wine. In revenge Waterford attacked Baltimore with the force of 3 armed ships and 400 men laid waste the island of Sherkin and its Franciscan Abbey, set fire to the castle and the town of Baltimore.

C. 1545 - Dun na Sead and Dun na Long rebuilt.
C. 1552 - King Edward VI was advised by his parliament to erect a fort on the harbour and compel foreign fishermen pay tribute: this proposal was not carried into effect.
C. 1576 - The O'Driscoll swore allegiance to Sir Henry Sydney as the Queens representative in Cork.
C. 1583 - Fineen O'Driscoll received his knighthood and called upon the privy Council in London expressing anxiety that English fishermen might clash with his tenants at Baltimore. His concern was misplaced. The fishermen wanted fish, his tenants wanted money. Consequent the tenants traded tackle, supplies, and food, with the fishermen.

C. 1590 - English and foreign pirates began to visit Baltimore.
C. 1602 - A Spanish fleet entered Baltimore Harbour and took Dun na Long at Sherkin. Sir Finnen O'Driscoll surrendered Dun na Sead to Spanish Commander Don Jean D'aquila.
C. 1602 - After an extremely cold winter, Spaniards left Baltimore for Spain. Sir Fineen O'Driscoll handed over his castles to the local British Commander.
C. 1604 - British garrison left Baltimore.
C. 1605 - Sir Fineen O'Driscoll accepted £2,000 for a 21 year lease of Baltimore and its ploughlands from Englishman - Thomas Cooke. No complaints from existing townsfolk.

C. 1607 - On July 3rd, Baltimore was authorised by His Majesty's High Court of  Chancery to hold a Friday Market and two Fairs on the 24th of June and the 28th of October.
C. 1612 - On the 26th of September the borrough received its official Charter from King James 1, appointing Thomas Cooke Esquire to be the first Sovereign and James Salmon, Daniel Leach, Joseph Carter, William Hudson, Joseph Hoskins, Stephen Hunt, Thomas Bennett (elder), Thomas Bennett (younger), Roger Bennett, William Howling, Thomas German and Richard Commy to be the first 12 burgesses, and a commonalty, the right of voting being in householders resident within the borough.  It returned  two members to Parliament.

C. 1626 - Sir Walter Coppinger, a magistrate at Cork, of Viking ancestery, and a Roman Catholic, took control of Dun na Sead and became owner return of an unpaid loan made to Sir Fineen O'Driscoll C.1616.
C. 1629 - Sir Fineen O'Driscoll died, at Clognan castle, Loughine.

C. 1631 - The Sack of Baltimore;On June 19th, 2 Algerian warships under the command of Morat Rais (a Dutchman), arrived off theOld Head of Kinsale and captured two Dungarvan mackeral fishing boats and their crews - the skipper of one boat was called Hackett, who persuaded Morat Rais to keep away from Dungarvan and Kinsale and to attack Baltimore instead. At 10 o' clock Sunday night, the Algerian ships anchored at the Eastern Hole, and at 2 am Monday, June 20th the sack of Baltimore commenced. The landing party was armed with muskets, scimitars, long knives, iron crow bars and tar soaked strips of canvas wrapped around long sticks. They were accompanied by John Hackett. The landing took place at the Cove from where the first captives were taken and herded onto the Algerian boats.  In the main part of Baltimore the Agerians broke open 40 houses,  looted 37 and took 109 captives. A planter named William Harris took defensive measures by firing musket shots and beating a drum. Morat Rais found the drum beating to be disturbing and ordered his men to return to their boats and set sail for Algiers, at the same time he released John Hackett. On 10th August, Morat Rais arrived at Algiers with 89 women and children and 20 men from Baltimore. The captives were brought to the Bashaw's Palace as 15 of the captives belonged to the Bashaw by right.  The others were sold on the open market.

C. 1632 - The Earl of Cork placed John Hackett on trial. Sir Walter Coppinger was obliged to hand over to the military, Dun na Sead.
C. 1660 - King Charles 2nd. of England restored, to the O'Driscoll's, the lands & houses of Baltimore, in recognition of their loyalty.
C. 1689 - James II granted Baltimore another charter and the borough continued to return two members to the Irish Parliment until the Act of Union came into effect, when it was disfanchised and the £15,000 compensation was paid to Sir John Freke, who, in 1807 succeeded to the title of Lord of Carbery.
C. 1697 - H.M.S. Loo was wrecked during a gale, in Baltimore Harbour, on 30th. April.  Hence, the Loo Rock was named.
C. 1760 - 1785 Baltimore was a Port of Quarantine.

C. 1804 - A signal post tower was erected at Spanish point. It lodged a naval officer, assistants, & a detachment of men. Constructed so as to be entered from the top by ladder.
C. 1819 -The church of St Mathew  was built at Baltimore on a piece of land, granted by John, Lord Carbery who also contributed to the fund raised in the parish for the erection of same.
C. 1830 - The Beacon, known as Lot's Wife, was built by the Crowley Brothers. It is 52ft. high & 52ft. in circumference at the base.
C. 1832 - School house for male and female children was built at the expense of Lord Carbery.
C. 1833 - A pier was built at the joint expense of the Fishery board and Lord Carbery. The trade of the port consisted of exports of slate, copper, ore, flax, wheat, oats and potatoes and the import of timber, iron, coal.

C. 1835 - Nine vessels of the aggregate burden of 2,030 tons entered inwards and the same number cleared outwards as connected with foreign trade and 173 vessels of aggregate burden of 10,300 entered inwards and 299 of the aggregate burden of 17,643 tons cleaned out.

C. 1850 - Over 1000 Baltimore residents emigrated to Canada, due to famine.
C. 1863 - Telegraph cable laid between Baltimore and Cape Clear.

C. 1879 - Father Charles Davis PP of Rath and the Islands took a deputation from Cape Clear and other islands to London to meet Queen Victoria. She put them in touch with Baroness Burdett-Coutts, who organised the setting up of an interest free loan fund for the purchase of fishing boats towards which she paid £10,000. The cost per boat was approx. £650-00.
C. 1887 - The Baltimore Industrial Fishery School was officially opened by Baroness Burdett-Coutts. It was funded by the Grand Jury of Cork-£1,000.00, the Duke of Norfolk -£500.00, & the British government-£5,000.00. 
C. 1889 - Father Charles Davis was instrumental in having the Light Railway Act of 1889 passed through the Westminster Parliament. The Act authorised the Government to provide a sum of £30,000 to finance the building of the eight mile railway extension between Skibbereen and Baltimore which was opened on May 2nd 1893. Unfortunately Fr Davis passed away in 1892 before he had seen the line in action. The line was built by William Martin Murphy, founder of the Irish Independant.

C. 1890 - The Baltimore fishing fleet numbered 75.
C. 1912 - As many as 16 trains per day left Baltimore, carrying fish to foreign markets.
C. 1915 - The Baltimore Lifeboat Station was built.
C. 1917 - The railway line was extended to the pier by the Congested Districts Board at the cost of £10,000. 
C. 1919 - The Lifeboat the "Shamrock" arrived at Baltimore Station.
C. 1920 - Skibbereen to Baltimore railway line closed due to Civil War difficulties.
C. 1923 - Railway line reopened.
C. 1925 - 20,000 barrels of mackeral exported from Baltimore to America.
C. 1931 - Baltimore station was reduced to halt status.
C. 1939 - 1945 Spain Tower was used as a submarine lookout post.
C. 1950 - The Baltimore Fishery School closed and BIM took over the operation boatyard.
C. 1953 - The Baltimore Sailing Club was founded.
C. 1957 - Steam trains were replaced by diesel-electric
C. 1961 - Last passenger train left Baltimore on Good Friday at 8.30 pm.
        

Ammendments & corrections to the above would be appreciated!

Baltimore Bridge Club

Bridge Every Monday Night for Winter Season 8pm in the Reengaroga Room at Caseys of Baltimore, Hotel

Special Offer: Stay Sunday & Monday Night or Monday & Tuesday - 2 Nights B&B + Dinner on 1 night FREE Bridge.

For Prices Please visit our Online Booking Engine

Dún na Séad Castle

is a beautifully restored 13th century castle, set atop a hill overlooking Baltimore harbour. The castle fell into ruin and was uninhabited for over three hundred years. The McCarthy family purchased the castle in 1997. They put great love and care into restoring it to its former splendor, then opened the castle to the public in 2005.

Tour the great hall on the first floor, recreated to feel like a grand home. It has its original two fireplaces and dressed sandstone windows. See furnishings and old photographs, as well as archaeological findings from the castle grounds. Sit in plush couches and peruse photographs of the reconstruction process.

This castle feels like a home. In fact, it is a home to the McCarthy family – they occupy one level not open to the public.
It is a new experience to explore a restored castle, one with a ceiling and all the comforts of home. So many castles in Ireland are falling into ruin. Dun na Sead Castle was restored following the original design of the castle. It is a good place to come if you want to imagine the true life of the people who inhabited it long ago. It goes to show that a castle can be a very comfortable modern-day dwelling as well.

Dun na Séad Castle was built in 1215 by an Anglo Nornan, Sleynie. It became the chief residence of the ODriscoll clan for 300 years and was the centre of administration for their trading and piratical activities In 1631 the castle narrowly escaped attack by a band of Algerian pirates, who landed in Baltimore and took 107 captives to a life of slavery in North Africa In 1649 it became a garrison for Cromwellian troops, after which it declined into a state of ruin. In 1997 the extensive task of  restoration began, which restored the castle to its former splendour.

Major features to a visit of the castle include:
A stroll through the great ball on the first floor, whicb contains furnishings, tapestries and an historical description of the castle’s 800 year history.

Pirate exhibition giving qraphic detail of Baltimore’s piratical history, including “Sack of Baltimore” 1631.

A view of archaeological details on Castle grounds and a display of archaeological finds.

A walk onto the battlements, which offers an unimpeded view of the roof restoration and provides a commanding view of Baltimore harbour and the islands.


Opening times April 1st to September 30th, 11AM to 6PM daily.
Admission fee: Adults 4 euro Accompanied Children free

Group Rates available.

Address
Dun na Sead Castle, Baltimore, Co. Cork
Tel: 028 20735

WEB: www.baltimorecastle.ie 

Hello and Welcome to the Wild Atlantic community Pool & Fitness Centre which has been designed to offer our existing and potential new members a full range of activities.
The Wild Atlantic Pool & Fitness Centre has a 16.5m Swimming Pool, Sauna, Steam Room, Jacuzzi and Gymnasium.
Join us in Baltimore, West Cork for fun, activities, relax or train hard and improve your fitness.

16.5 Meter Swimming Pool, Bubble pool, Water fountain, Children's Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steamroom.

Gymnasium consisting of:

2 x Treadmills, 2 x Bikes, Skiing Machine, Concept 2 rowing machine
2 x Stair Masters and a wide range of machine weights

Opening  Hours 

Monday & Thursday                                       8.00am - 10.00pm        
Children welcome up until 7.00pm

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday                      8.00am - 9.00pm         
Children welcome up until 7.00pm

Saturday , Sunday & Bank holidays               9.00 am - 8.00pm        
Children welcome up until 7.00pm

Public Sessions:

Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna & Steamroom available. (Gymnasium not included)

Adult :€10.00

Student: €7.00

Child:€5.00

Please contact pool to check availability   Tel 028 20622    Email info@baltimorepool.ie

Whether it's a contemporary wedding, blessings or a civil ceremony, you can relax in the knowledge that your wedding will run smoothly.

Alex Rey - Cork

Thank you all so much for a wonderful stay! It couldn't have been more fantastic. The rooms, food and accommodations were lovely. We are planning our O'Driscoll family stay for next year with you!

Paul o’Driscoll - Mayo, Ireland

Stayed a night, it was so good we stayed another. The place is fantastic, cosy, warm. And the staff are great, welcoming and helpful. Food is some of the best food we have tasted on our trip so far. 

Paul C -

Walking home after our meal and sampling the home brew from the on-site West Cork Brewery was just what we needed as we were comfortably stuffed with the large, delicious portions of the freshest seafood around, not to mention the home brew..

Mary B -

Crab and prawn starter was very tasty and four of us had tempura of prawn starter as a main course. This was generous in size and really well cooked. 

Mark W -

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