Thursday Doors


If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you’ll be thinking I’ve moved to Kinsale, as this is about the third week in a row that it features in Thursday Doors. I’ve included the building above in a previous post but this photograph was shot from a much better angle to show off its lovely quirkiness. A friend from America has been staying with us (hi Dana) and I thought it quite appropriate that we were standing at one point just in front of the White House.


I just love the little blue cottage in this slideshow, with its tiny yellow windows and the fact that it has a big name for such a little house. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We had a lovely lunch in Jim Edwards, a place we hadn’t eaten in before, but our friend had been there on her last trip to Ireland and recommended it. The Armada Bar looked tempting, too, but we hadn’t time to stop for a Guinness as there were lots more doors to capture, plus a castle at the top of the street that I was itching to explore.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Desmond Castle was built by the 9th Earl of Desmond (Maurice Bacach Fitzgerald) about 1500. An urban tower house, it’s three stories high with outhouses at the rear. At one time the castle served as a prison but it was originally built as a customs house. It was used as an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and during the Great Hunger it became a workhouse.

In the 17th century the castle became popularly known as the “French prison” and was used for prisoners of war, most of whom were captured at sea. The majority of the prisoners were French, but many nationalities were ransomed or exchanged for their British counterparts. Some prisoners were housed in nearby huts, and the conditions were grim, with overcrowding, lack of food, starvation and disease. A disastrous fire in 1747 killed 54 prisoners.

During the American War of Independence, the crews of many American vessels were held prisoner in Kinsale in poor conditions. Help came from Rev. William Hazlett, a Presbyterian Minister in nearby Bandon, and from Reuben Harvey, a Quaker merchant in Cork. Through their influence conditions were improved. In 1783, George Washington thanked Harvey for “his exertions in relieving the distresses of such of our fellow citizens as were prisoners in Ireland”. *

Nowadays, the castle hosts an International Museum of Wine Exhibition that documents the history of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and the rest of the world. You might have heard tell of The Wild Geese. Originally, these were approximately 30,000 Irish soldiers who left Ireland  in 1691 with their leader, Patrick Sarsfield. They had fought the army of William of Orange to a standstill and were given the option of sailing to France. Having negotiated a treaty guaranteeing the rights of their people, Patrick Sarsfield and his soldiers submitted to exile in France. Once they were gone, the Treaty was torn up and replaced by the Penal Laws, stripping Irish Catholics of their land and denying them any right of citizenship.

Because of this injustice, young Irishmen made their way to France to join its army and for almost a hundred years there was an Irish Brigade in the French forces. It is thought at least half a million Irishmen died serving France in the century after the violation of the Treaty of Limerick. French ships smuggled brandy and wine to the west coast of Ireland, then departed with recruits for the Irish Brigade. In the ships’ paperwork these passengers were listed as Wild Geese and this is how the name came about. In time, some of them entered the wine trade and are often referred to as the Irish Wine Geese. Their descendants today can be found all over the world.

Robinson Crusoe is also linked to Kinsale, as Don and Barry’s beautiful short video explains. Once you’ve seen the aerial footage of the town, you’ll understand why I visit so often.

I hope you enjoyed yet another trip to Kinsale. Next week, I’ll be posting a nostalgic Thursday Doors from the town. If you would like to explore some more doors from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s Blog and follow the link at the end of his post.



About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, photography, Thursday Doors, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. Dana Muir says:

    It is a lovely town. I enjoyed reading the history you included. Thanks for taking me there and showing me so of it, I hadn’t seen.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. joanfrankham says:

    Great photos of the town, I am just about to leave for lunch there, and of course a walkabout of the quirky streets.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. joannesisco says:

    What a pretty town! I love the little cottages with a name. I always wanted to have a property with a name – like it had its own identity. It’s cute that these cottages have such a grand name – Giant’s Cottage and Mansion House. How can you not smile at that?!!

    Also – the White House is red. It seems to me that someone has a sense of humour 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Vicky says:

    Kinsale is growing more attractive by the week 🙂 What a beautiful town and some lovely doors..

    Liked by 3 people

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely post I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. jesh stg says:

    Whoa, what you did to make this post would easily take a week, I’d say! Can tell you LOVE history and researching it:) Wished the ones at the White House here, would live in that tiny one in Ireland -may be it would make them a little more humble!
    Impressive all the history you found about the castle – and your pen has a way of making it interesting! Am about to make myself ready for a conference this weekend, so I might not get back to your comments right away, but not because I’m not interested!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right about the time it took for this particular post, I was at it all day. It was worth it, though, as I had forgotten a lot of the lessons from my schooldays about that period in Irish history. Enjoy your conference. 🙂


  7. It’s a lovely village. I do see why you keep returning I think I would too. The White House that’s mostly red is wonderful! I love the paint job, and I enjoyed your slide show, and the video.

    Thanks for a top notch arm-chair tour!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The more I see of this place the more I like it!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. dimlamp says:

    Well done! I think I read about the Penal Laws a long time ago when I studied history in university, but had forgotten how oppressive it was for the Irish Catholics. Thanks for this informative post.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. joey says:

    Charming. I envy your local access to so much quaint and beauty. Really lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dan Antion says:

    You’ve brought us another lovely collection of doors (I’m particularly fond of the blue ones) and buildings and history. All the things I enjoy reading about, Jean. I really like the building at the top and the way the other buildings just seem to have sprouted out of the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Kash Pals says:

    The White House is not white but red. Loved the slide shows and the video. Irish history is impressive.Thanks for the lovely tour.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Norm 2.0 says:

    That seems to be a lovely place and no, I’m not getting tired of seeing it. Great collection Jean. Your Whitehouse door gave me a good chuckle 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. jlfatgcs says:

    Kinsale is such a lovely town, full of charm and history. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Ali Isaac says:

    Its so pretty, Jean! But a bit of a grim history.Very interesting, though. I had heard of the Wild Geese but had no idea what it meant. Thanks for the education. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love your finds. I’m especially taken with Giant’s Cottage and Mansion House. They have some flair along with great names 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. inesephoto says:

    Love these corner houses, like in your first picture. Interesting historical facts, and the video.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. pattimoed says:

    I love this post, Jean. I had no idea of the real Robinson Caruso. And the corner door and White House are great too. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Aquileana says:

    Thanks for letting me be part of your promenade… many of those doors certainly stand out to the eye!… great post and photographs, Jean… wishing you a beautiful week ahead. Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s