Baltimore, County Cork

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This article is about the village in Ireland. For other uses, see Baltimore (disambiguation).
Baltimore
Dún na Séad
Village
Baltimore in 2005
Baltimore in 2005
Baltimore is located in Ireland
Baltimore
Baltimore
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°29′N 9°22′W / 51.483°N 9.367°W / 51.483; -9.367Coordinates: 51°29′N 9°22′W / 51.483°N 9.367°W / 51.483; -9.367
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County Cork
Barony Carbery West
Parish Rath
Founded 1607
Area
 • Total 3.04 km2 (1.17 sq mi)
 • Land 1.78 km2 (0.69 sq mi)
Elevation 26 m (85 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 377
 • Density 124/km2 (320/sq mi)
Area code(s) 028

Baltimore (/ˈbæltɨmɔr/; 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]

History[edit]

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, although Crooke was accused of dabbling in piracy; some went so far as to call Baltimore "a nest of pirates". In 1607 it 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. It was sacked in 1631 by pirates from Algeria[4] or Sale (Morocco), and 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.[5]

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.[5]

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 (Thomas Crooke) and twelve burgesses. It returned two members to the Irish House of Commons 1613-1801.

Places of interest[edit]

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.

George Halpin, the Board's inspector was ordered to report the matter which he did the following month, stating that the original, locally built Beacon was too small, poorly built, and had been vandalised. He recommended a large and properly constructed Beacon with which the Board concurred.

Almost a year passed, 6 July 1848, before the Board requested the secretary to seek permission from Lord Carbery for a piece of ground thirty feet in diameter, on which to build the Beacon. By the end of July a reply had been received from Mr. Arthur Perry-Aylmer informing the Board that Lady Carbery of Castle Freke near Rosscarbery had given her full permission to either rebuild or re-construct the existing Beacon and granted free access as the Beacon was a matter of such vast importance to fishermen and others.

By February 1849 inspector George Halpin reported that the masonry work of the Beacon was complete but the iron staff and vane still had to be placed on top.

The conspicuous conical white painted Baltimore Beacon, sometimes called the 'pillar of salt' or 'Lot's wife' is approximately fifty feet (15.2m) high and fifteen feet (4.6m) in diameter at the base. The vent, mentioned by Halpin in 1849 was obviously vulnerable and at a later date was replaced by a sphere.

Tourism[edit]

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 has also became a very popular venue for scuba diving, due largely to the number and variety of shipwrecks in the bay. These include a World War Two submarine (The U-260) and the bulk carrier Kowloon Bridge.

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Baltimore, Hotels: Caseys 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.

Sport[edit]

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.

Transport[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ Ekin The Stolen Village
  5. ^ a b Ekin The Stolen Village
  6. ^ "Baltimore station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 

External links[edit]