Youghal Tourist Attractions
Youghal (Eochail, "Yew Wood"; pronounced Yawl) lies on Youghal Bay on the Irish south coast. Here the Blackwater River opens out into a sea lough which forms a safe harbor for shipping. This old world little market town and fishing port is also a popular seaside resort, with good sandy beaches.Youghal is famous for its point lace, which is distinguished by its vivid patterns.From the 13th C. until its destruction by the rebel Earl of Desmond in 1579 Youghal was a flourishing place. It was ruled over by Sir Walter Raleigh at the end of the 16th century and later by Richard Boyle. In 1649 it surrendered to Cromwell, who made Youghal the base for his campaigns in Ireland.The N25, the Waterford-Cork road, traverses the town parallel to the Blackwater, dividing into two one-way streets in the old town center.
The N25, the Waterford-Cork road, traverses the town of Youghal parallel to the Blackwater, dividing into two one-way streets in the old town center. Approaching the town from the north, the road passes, in a churchyard on the right, the ruins of North Abbey (National Monument), a Dominican house founded in 1268.
St Mary's Church
Just after the beginning of the one-way system Youghal's William Street branches off North Main Street on the right to St Mary's Church, a collegiate church founded in the early 13th C. and subsequently much rebuilt (most recently the choir in 1854). The church has three aisles and a separate tower. Notable features of the interior are the oak carving in the nave, the font and a number of tombs, in particular the elaborately sculptured monument of Richard Boyle (1619) in the south transept, where he lies buried with his two wives and nine of his 16 children. In the churchyard are remains of the old fortifications (15th-16th C.), with walls and towers extending southeast along the west side of the town for a distance of some 650yd/600m.
Northeast of Youghal's St Mary's Church on William Street stands Myrtle Grove, a stately Elizabethan mansion which belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh (now open to the public).
In Youghal's Main Street are a number of old buildings. On the left are the remains of Tynte's Castle (15th C.), on the right the Red House, a brick building of 1706 in Dutch style, almshouses (1634) and St John's House, a hospital founded in 1360. At the end of the street rises the five-story Clockgate Tower, erected in 1771 in place of an old town gate; until 1837 the town prison, it now houses a small museum.
The surroundings of Youghal have many features of interest.
North of Youghal on the N25 a side road goes off on the left up the west bank of the Blackwater, passing the ruins of Rinncru Abbey and Templemichael Castle, to the remains of Molana Abbey, beautifully situated on the river, with the church and conventual buildings (chapter house, refectory, kitchen) laid out round a cloister.
Southwest of Youghal, the R633 leads to Ballymacoda, where Irish is still spoken, and the R632 and the R629 to the fishing village of Ballycotton, situated on high ground above the sea, with good beaches and beautiful cliff scenery.
5mi/8km northwest of Ballycotton is Cloyne, which was the see of a bishop in the 12th C. The Cathedral dates from 1250 but has been much altered and modernized; it contains a number of fine monuments and, by the north door, curious carvings with pagan symbols. On the opposite side of the street stands a round tower 100ft/30m high, the original roof of which has been replaced by a battlemented top.
7.5mi/12km west of Youghal on the N25 lies Killeagh. North of the village, extending for some miles up the valley of the River Dissour, is Glenbower State Forest, which has preserved the character of the old natural forests of Ireland. Southeast of Killeagh stands the round keep of Inchiquin Castle (13th C).
4mi/6km southwest of Killeagh we come to Castlemartyr. In the grounds of a Carmelite priory are the remains of the Seneschal's Castle - a 15th C. outer ward with angle towers, a keep of the same period and 17th C. domestic quarters.
Jameson Heritage Center, Midleton
6mi/10km to the west of Castlemartyr, which lies to the southwest of Killeagh, is Midleton, a busy little market and industrial town with a handsome 18th C. Market House and a church designed by the Pain brothers (19th C).The principal feature, however, is the Jameson Heritage Centre which is housed in mill buildings dating from the end of the 18th C.