Desmond Castle

Contact Details

Address: Cork St, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Telephone No: +353 21 477 4855

Opening Hours

24th March - 14th September 2016 : Daily 10.00 - 18.00

Last Admission: 45 minutes before closing

Average Length of Visit: 45 minutes

Admission Fees

D Adult: €4.00
Sen/Group: €3.00
Child/Student: €2.00
Family: €10.00


Self guiding exhibition.

Restaurant/Tearooms: None

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.

Location: In Kinsale town, 300 metres from Garda (Police) barracks along Cork street. Close to Carmelite Friary.

Bus Route(s): Contact Bus Eireann, Travel Centre +353 1 8366111.

Guided Tours:
Maximum number: 20
Duration: 30 minutes

Leaflet/Guide book: English, Irish, French, Spanish, Polish

Seasonal Events: Please check in advance using contact details listed above

Photography / Video allowed: Yes, but permit required for commercial purposes

Additional Information: Access to castle by steps

Event Calendar


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