Youghal Heritage Trail PDF Print E-mail


Youghal Visitor Centre 
00353 24 21070
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This tour will take approximately one hour and commences at the Heritage Centre in Youghal Tourist Office in The Old Market House, Youghal.  This building is built on reclaimed land on the very site of the medieval harbour.  Here you will be introduced to the wonderful and historic story of Youghal and this trail will take you to see the important and iconic landmarks in that magical story!  youghal_heritage_trail_new.jpg
1. The Site of the Exchange

The first Exchange was constructed in 1672 and was situated just outside the old town wall, fronting onto the medieval quays, northwest of the Watergate. The Exchange was constructed on a site which had served as a theatre in the early 1600s. Several touring companies from England performed there and it is said that William Shakespeare once paid a visit. The Exchange was demolished in the mid 18th Century and replaced by a new building in 1753. 

(Picture right:what the Exchange may have look like)


2. The Water Gate Arch
This Water Gate was built in the 13th Century to provide access through the town walls to the docks.  It is still known as Cromwell’s Arch, as this is the place from which Oliver Cromwell left Ireland on board "The President" in 1650.
3. The Clock Gate.
This is the third gate on this site in the town walls and was completed in 1777.  The tower was used as the town gaol until the mid-19th century. Prisoners were executed by hanging from the windows.

4. St. Benedictine Priory

The Priory was founded in 1350.  Small portions still survive, including the door arch and small window on the street front.

5. The Magazine
According to historical sources, an urban tower house known as the Magazine was situated on the front of the property now located at 54 North Main Street. 
This building was supposedly occupied by Oliver Cromwell when he wintered his army in the town in 1649-1650. The Magazine was demolished in 1835 as part of construction works for the present building.


6.The Market Place

This point marks the location of the linear Medieval Market Place, which can be seen in the noticeable widening of the street. Market Places were a key part of medieval towns, particularly from the 13th Century onwards, when there was a period of tremendous growth and economic expansion across Europe.


7. The Red House
The Red House was built in the early 18th century for the Uniacke family.  It is reputed to be the only example of the Dutch or Queen Anne style town house continuing in use as a private dwelling in Ireland.


8. Tynte’s Castle
This 15th century Norman tower was used by a local merchant family as a house and as a store for valuable goods.  It is unusual to have such a fortified dwelling built inside the town walls.  Sir Robert Tynte, who owned the tower in the early 17th century was married to the widow of the poet Edmund Spenser.

9. Boyles Almshouses
These houses were built in 1610 by Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, for six old soldiers. The soldiers received a pension of £5 per annum.  Some of the houses were altered in the mid-19th century.
10. Myrtle Grove

This attractive house was the home of Sir Walter Raleigh when he was resident in Youghal.  It was purchased by Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, in 1602.  It is a fine example of a late medieval dwelling

11. St. Mary’s Collegiate Church.
The church was built in 1220 and extended in the 14th and 15th centuries.  It is one of the few parish churches of the period still in use in Ireland.  
 It has a fascinating history which is fully illustrated in the church. 
Recent radio-carbon dating on wood samples in the Church place this roof in the middle of the 13th century (AD1223 - 1281).  These findings, we are very proud to say, prove that St. Mary's has the oldest readio-carbon date rof structure of any Church in Ireland.


12. Landward Town Walls
The first record of the town walls is a charter of 1275, granted by King Edward I, for their repair and extension.  The walls surrounded the town on the shoreline as well as inland.  Most of the inland portion still survives today.  A good vantage point is in the grounds of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church.

13. The College and 14. The College Gardens
The College was founded in 1464 by Thomas Fitzgerald, 7th Earl of Desmond. It was referred to as the University Of The City Of Youghal in a letter from Pope Innocent VIII in 1492.  It ceased to function in the late 16th century and very little of the original building remains today.

 15. The Quaker Meeting House and Burial Ground
According to historical sources, the Quakers built a meeting house in Youghal in 1681 with a graveyard to the south of the building. The present building is the combination of 19th and 20th Century alterations and modifications
16. St. Mary's Catholic Church
St. Mary’s Catholic Church was built in 1796. During this period a Catholic Church could not be constructed on the main thoroughfare or on prominent sites. It is for this reason that St. Mary’s was located at its present site on Ashe Street (Formerly Beau or Bow Street).


 17. The Town Hall       
Youghal's Town Hall, Mall House, and the fashionable 140-yard long tree-lined promenade were created on Parliament Quay in 1772-1779. The building stands on land that were reclaimed from the river in the 18th Century. 


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