Spanish Point, County Clare

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Spanish Point

Rinn na Spáinneach
Spanish Point, 2007. Armada Hotel and the ruins of Atlantic Hotel.
Spanish Point, 2007. Armada Hotel and the ruins of Atlantic Hotel.
Spanish Point is located in Ireland
Spanish Point
Spanish Point
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°50′42″N 9°26′13″W / 52.845°N 9.437°W / 52.845; -9.437Coordinates: 52°50′42″N 9°26′13″W / 52.845°N 9.437°W / 52.845; -9.437
CountyCounty Clare
20 m (70 ft)
Irish Grid ReferenceR029783

Spanish Point (Irish: Rinn na Spáinneach) is a village in the parish of Milltown Malbay in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland. It has many holiday homes, and in winter a significantly smaller population. It is also one of the better known surf breaks in County Clare. The name refers to the wrecking of some ships of the Spanish Armada off the coast.[1]


On the coast, 2.5 km (1.6 mi) from Milltown Malbay, Spanish Point was named after the Spanish who died here in 1588, when many ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked during stormy weather. Those who escaped from their sinking ships and made it safely to land were later executed by Sir Turlough O'Brien of Liscannor and Boethius Clancy, High Sheriff of Clare.[2]

It was not known by the English authorities in Ireland whether the Spanish sailed this way around Ireland because their ships were damaged and the storm prevented them from sailing back the quick way or if it was part of a Spanish plan to invade Ireland.[2] As news of the English victory had not reached William FitzWilliam, the Lord Deputy of Ireland, he had issued a blanket command that all Spanish found in Ireland were to be executed with their ships and treasure seized.[2] The executed Spanish were buried in a mass grave in an area of Spanish Point known locally as Tuama Na Spáinneach (Tomb of the Spaniards).[3] Despite this, there was no archaeological evidence for the claim until 2015 when a group of historians investigating the location of the wreck of San Marcos stated they had found a mass grave under Spanish Point which contained the bodies of the executed Spanish sailors.[4][5][6]


Spanish Point is home of the Atlantic Hotel which was built in 1810 and was promoted as the largest hotel in the British Isles.[7] The hotel closed in 1930 as it had relied upon members of the British nobility visiting for income. This was as a result of the Irish War of Independence and subsequent establishment of the Irish Free State that dissuaded the wealthy from travelling to Spanish Point.[8]


Spanish Point has a nine-hole golf course. Spanish Point is home to Spanish Point golf course which at over 110 years old is one of the oldest courses in Ireland.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rinn na Spáinneach/Spanish Point". Placenames Database of Ireland. Government of Ireland. Retrieved 2011-06-14. (archival records)
  2. ^ a b c O'Brien, John. "The Other Clare". Clare History. Clare County Library. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  3. ^ Westropp, T.J. (1911). "An Alleged Relic of the Spanish Armada in Co. Clare". The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Jstor. 1 (1): 64–66. JSTOR 25514133.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Webmaster. "Possible evidence of Spanish Armada mass grave found in Clare". The Clare Herald. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  5. ^ "Historians may have discovered a mass grave from the Spanish Armada". The Journal. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  6. ^ "Burial site of the Spanish Armada's crew found". Spain: The Olive Press. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  7. ^ Kerrigan, Jo (2018). "5". Follow the Old Road: Discover the Ireland of Yesteryear. O'Brien Press. ISBN 978-1788490320.
  8. ^ Talty, Martin (2013). As We Met... Local and Cultural History Kilfarboy 1880-1980 Told through the life of Martin Talty. Milltown Malbay: Brid Talty. p. 95. ISBN 9780957574304.
  9. ^ Golf course Spanish Point Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine