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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Cork County > Youghal
Youghal (meaning 'yew wood') is a seaport in County Cork, Ireland. Youghal is located on the estuary of the River Blackwater, and in the past was militarily and economically important. Being built on the edge of a steep riverbank, the town has a distinctive long and narrow layout. The name of the town derives from the yew woods (Eochaill) which were once plentiful in the area. As of the 2002 census, the population was 6,597, but the population of its catchment area is about 10,000.

Situated on the coastline of East County Cork, the bustling and picturesque town of Youghal is regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. The historic walled seaport town of Youghal has many historic buildings and monuments within its ancient town walls, has been designated as an Irish Heritage Port by the Irish Tourist Board.

Fishing in the River Blackwater (noted for salmon, trout and excellent coarse fish), golf, sailing, angling, pitch and putt and yachting are just some of the facilities that are located either nearby or in the town.

The town of Youghal continues to experience sustained economic decline and employment in the town itself has seen a marked decrease in 2008. Many of the town's population commute to work in the Cork or Waterford region.

History
Youghal received its charter of incorporation in 1209, but the history of settlement on the site is much longer, with a Norse settlement being present in the 9th century, the Church of Coran in the town's western suburbs dating from the 5th century, and evidence of Neolithic habitation at nearby Newport.

Notable buildings in the town include Myrtle Grove and St Mary's Collegiate Church, thought to have been founded by St Declan around 450. The church was rebuilt in Irish Romanesque style c. 750, and a great Norman nave was erected in c. 1220. It is one of the few remaining medieval churches in Ireland to have remained in continuous use as a place of worship. The Vikings used Youghal as a base for their raids on monastic sites along the south coast of Ireland, and a stone in St Mary's Collegiate Church still bears the etched outline of a longboat. Since the 16th Century it has been the place of worship of the Church of Ireland congregation of Youghal and its surrounding areas.

The town was badly damaged on November 13, 1579, during the Second Desmond Rebellion, when it was sacked by the forces of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond. Desmond had the town's garrison massacred, the English officials were hanged and his soldiers looted the townspeople. The down town area of Youghal is among the best preserved in Ireland. The first record of the walls is a charter of 1275, granted by King Edward I, for their repair and extension. In 1777, the town's Clock Gate was built on the site of Trinity Castle, part of the town's fortifications. The Clock Gate served the town as gaol and public gallows until 1837; prisoners were executed by being hanged from the windows. Tynte's Castle is a late 15th-century urban tower house. There are also 17th-century almshouses, constructed by Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork. St Mary's Collegiate Church in the town still contains many monuments, including the tomb of Richard Boyle himself. The Mall House and its promenade were built in 1779, and are now used as Youghal's Town Hall. The town's Water Gate was built in the 13th century to provide access through the town walls to the docks. Also known as Cromwell's Arch, it was from here that Oliver Cromwell left Ireland in 1650, having overwintered in the town after his campaign in Ireland.

During the 17th century Youghal was one of Ireland's main ports, far more important than Cork which was described as 'a port near Youghal.' However, from the 18th century onwards, Youghal suffered much the same fate as nearby Ardmore: as ships became larger, they were unable to get into Youghal Harbour because of a shallow sandbar at its mołth.`

In 1840 a large hoard of coins were dug up in a field near Youghal weighing between 'three hundred and four hundred ounces' Coin Hoard Article

An interesting aside in Youghal's history is that it was the first town in Ireland or Britain to have a Jewish Mayor when a Mr. William Annyas was elected to that position in 1555.


Attractions
Youghal adjoins a number of fine beaches including the famous 5km beach to the east of the town. In 2008, Youghal lost one of its two blue flags. Untreated sewage continues to flow in to the sea at several points in the town despite attempts by the townsfolk to get Youghal Town Council to act.

In the 1950s and 1960s Youghal was a popular seaside resort, with thousands taking the train to the beach. Many tourists to the town are attracted by its historic buildings and natural surroundings. The town is steeped in history and was once one of the busiest ports in the country, even more important than Cork and Dublin at one time. With the closing of the railway line in the 1970s (see Irish railway history), the town went into a period of decline, reinforced by the difficulties encountered by the town's textile industry. Since the 1990s, aided by favourable property tax concessions, there has been considerable reinvestment and construction to restore Youghal's facilities and popularity.


 
 
Cork City
Cobh
Fermoy
Kinsale
Mallow
Middleton
Mitchelstown
Youghal
 
 
     
     
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Youghal
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Youghal
In: Cork
People: 6,203
Speak:
Type: Tourist Village
GPS: -7.845612, 51.951671