The history of Youghal

Youghal is one half medieval walled town and one half Victorian beach resort. It is the place where Walter Raleigh first introduced the potato into Ireland, where Cromwell left the country from and where much of Ireland’s medieval trade was done through.

The result is a legacy that is both impressive and obvious to see. The town walls are tall, strong and still exist over most of its original line. Within the walls, a medieval church, almshouses, a tower house, and the home of Raleigh himself all remain standing. Just to the immediate south of the walled town a different town exists. It is the Youghal which was a Victorian pleasure ground. For decades day trippers came on the train from Cork to enjoy the magnificent beaches.

The train doesn’t run anymore but the beaches haven’t gone anywhere!

A history with Hollywood!

In the 1950s, most exterior shots of “New Bedford” in John Huston’s movie adaptation of Moby-Dick were filmed in Youghal, as New Bedford itself had changed too much in the intervening century to be usable for this purpose.

1,100 years of historical landmarks

Youghal’s history is best understood through its landmarks. Heading along Main St from the south, the curious Clock Gate was built in 1777, and served as a town gate, clock tower and jail; several prisoners taken in the 1798 Rising were hanged from its windows.

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