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Baltimore Castle

The castle of Dún na Séad dominates the village from a rocky outcrop overlooking the centre of Baltimore and its harbour. The present castle or fortified manor house is the latest in a succession built and destroyed on the same West Cork site since the first castle was built there by the Anglo-Norman Lord Sleynie in 1215. The name Dún na Séad, which it shares with the village, means 'fort of the jewels' and is thought to refer to the castle's role in the collection of taxes levied on foreign vessels entering the harbour. During the course of a long and turbulent history the castle passed through many different hands, notably those of the O’Driscolls, until it eventually fell into ruin in the 17th century.

Dún na Séad from the harbour

Among the first to sack the castle were McCarthys in 1305. By a happy coincidence the castle has now been painstakingly restored by other McCarthys, the present owners. It is open to the public and you can visit the Great Hall which contains interesting artefacts and information about the history of both the castle and village, and admire the view across the harbour from the battlements.

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