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Baltimore, County Cork

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Title: Baltimore, County Cork  
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Subject: List of islands of Ireland, Sack of Baltimore, Sherkin Island, County Cork, List of coastal fortifications of County Cork
Collection: Towns and Villages in County Cork
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Baltimore, County Cork

Dún na Séad
Baltimore in 2005
Baltimore in 2005
Baltimore is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County Cork
Barony Carbery West
Parish Rath
Founded 1607
 • Total 3.04 km2 (1.17 sq mi)
 • Land 1.78 km2 (0.69 sq mi)
Elevation 26 m (85 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 347
 • Density 124/km2 (320/sq mi)
Eircode (Routing Key) P81
Area code(s) 028
Irish Grid Reference W051264

Baltimore (; Irish: Dún na Séad)[1] is a village in western County Cork, Ireland. It is the main village in the parish of Rath and the Islands, the southernmost parish in Ireland. It is the main ferry port to Sherkin Island, Cape Clear Island and the eastern side of Roaring Water Bay (Loch Trasna) and Carbery's Hundred Isles.

Although the name Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish Baile an Tí Mhóir meaning "town of the big house", the Irish-language name for Baltimore is that of the O'Driscoll castle, Dún na Séad or Dunashad ("fort of the jewels"). The recently restored castle is open to the public and overlooks the town.

In ancient times, Dunashad was considered a sanctuary for druids and the place name is associated with Bealtaine.[2]


  • Climate 1
  • History 2
  • Places of interest 3
  • Tourism 4
  • Sport 5
  • Transport 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Baltimore has a subtropical maritime climate (Köppen climate classification:Cwb) that borders on humid subtropical climate. There are no significant thermal excursions between summer and winter.


Baltimore enters history as a seat of one of Ireland's most ancient dynasties, the once mighty Corcu Loígde, former Kings of Tara and Kings of Munster.

An English colony was founded here about 1605 by Sir Thomas Crooke, 1st Baronet, with the blessing of King James I of England; Crooke leased the lands from Sir Fineen O'Driscoll, head of the O'Driscoll clan.[3] It was a lucrative centre of the pilchard fisheries, and in the early 1600s a great pirate base, where not only all the justices including the vice-admiral of Munster, but the entire population, were involved; all the women of Baltimore were reputed to be either wives or mistresses of pirates.[4] These activities were unaffected by official discouragement under King James, but English piracy generally declined shortly thereafter, partly due to competition from Barbary pirates. In 1607 Baltimore became a market town, with the right to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs. Control passed after Crooke's death to Sir Walter Coppinger.

The town was depopulated in 1631 in the Sack of Baltimore, a raid by Barbary pirates from either Algeria or Salé (Morocco).[5] Reminders of the incident still exist in the form of pub names, like "The Algiers Inn". More than 100 villagers were sold into slavery, of whom only 2 or 3 ever saw Ireland again.[6] The survivors fled to Skibbereen, and Baltimore for generations was almost deserted. A slow recovery began in the eighteenth century, and by the early 1800s the village was starting to prosper again, only to suffer further great losses in the Great Famine.[6]

It is believed that Napoleon obtained his famous white mare Intendant from the area.

Baltimore was granted borough status in 1612 with a town government consisting of a "sovereign" (Sir Thomas Crooke) and twelve burgesses. It returned two members to the Irish House of Commons 1613-1801.

Places of interest

The Baltimore Beacon, also known as Lot's Wife

One of the most notable landmarks in the area is the Baltimore Beacon, also known as Lot's Wife. 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.

  • Baltimore West Cork Official Site
  • Baltimore Lifeboat RNLI Lifeboat based at Baltimore
  • Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival
  • Marine life at Baltimore coast
  • Baltimore Sailing Club

External links

  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland. Dún na Séad Verified 2011-02-09.
  2. ^ Samuel Lewis (1849). A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. S. Lewis and Company. pp. 164–. 
  3. ^ Ekin, Des The Stolen Village- Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates O'Brien Press Dublin 2008
  4. ^ Appleby J.C. A Nursery of Pirates: The English pirate community in Ireland in the early seventeenth century. IJMH II (1990) no. 1 pp 1-27. As reported in Rodger, N.A.M., The Safeguard of the Sea. A naval history of Britain, 660-1649. p 349. 1997. Republished Penguin Books 2004. ISBN 978-0-14-029724-9
  5. ^ Ekin, The Stolen Village
  6. ^ a b Ekin The Stolen Village
  7. ^ "Baltimore station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 


See also

Baltimore is located near the N71 road which leads to Cork which is roughly 100 kilometres from the village. The closest major town to Baltimore is Skibbereen, 13.4 kilometres north-east of the village. Bus services to Skibbereen and Cork are provided by Bus Éireann.


The local GAA club is Ilen Rovers, which was formed in 1973 and consists of the surrounding parish and that of Lisheen and Kilcoe. They compete in the Cork County Senior Football Championship and appeared in the Senior final in 2007 losing to Nemo Rangers. The local soccer team Baltimore FC also known as the Crabs were established in 2006. They won division 2 in 2010 and are currently a division 1 side in the West Cork league and are going from strength to strength. Sailing is also a very popular activity in Baltimore. Courses are held in the summer months for both adults and children.


There is a wide range of accommodation available in Baltimore, Hotels: Casey's of Baltimore, Hotel, Waterfront Hotel and a host of bed and breakfasts such as Channel View, the Fastnet, the Old Post House, the Slip Way, the Algiers Inn, Bushes bar, Rolf's Hostel Self Catering as well as many others.

Baltimore attracts many visitors and the resident population booms in summer months due to the large number of summer homes that have been built in the area in the last ten years. Baltimore is particularly attractive as a destination to visitors interested in sailing, fishing and exploring the countryside. Baltimore is a great base from which to explore Cape Clear, Sherkin and Lough Hyne. Lough Hyne, Ireland's first marine nature reserve is only 5 km from town. Baltimore also has become a very popular venue for scuba diving, due largely to the number and variety of shipwrecks in the bay. These include a Second World War submarine (U-260), the bulk carrier Kowloon Bridge and the Alondra from 1916.

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