Youghal was once the seat of power in Munster and was one of the privileged ports to import wine into Ireland without forfeiting half of the profits in taxes.
Famous landmarks include Youghal Clock Gate Tower (the symbol of the town today) built originally as a castle, then a prison, and a family home before finally becoming a tourist attraction which you can tour, St Mary’s Collegiate Church & accompanying medieval gardens. The home of Sir Walter Raleigh, famous for introducing the potato to Ireland, and the Youghal heritage only found on the Happy Feet Walking Tours. The town is also the home of Ireland’s only Town Crier who greets tourists on a daily basis.
A charming town with more than 1,300 years of history a must visit!
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.