Spike Island - Spike Island Management

Spike Island

Localisation en Irlande
Spike Island - Spike Island Management

Informations about Spike Island

Location in Ireland Ireland County: County Cork (Republic of Ireland)
Location :
Address : Spike Island - Cork Habour - Cork

Type de lieu Type : ,  

Note Traveller's note:
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Spike Island is a beautiful island located in Cork Harbour, a few kilometres off the coast of Cork. Originally, the island was home to a 7th century monastic site, but the strategic location of Spike Island eventually led to the construction of a star-shaped defensive fort and a prison, which are now open to the public…

Visit Spike Island

Historic buildings, to be visited from top to bottom!

With its 104 hectares, its monastery, its prison and star-shaped fort, Spike Island offers many activities, all in an exceptional setting! With a rich history dating back more than 1400 years, it must be said that the island has been progressively endowed with :

  • a monastery (built in 635 and then abandoned)
  • of a prison (from 1640 to 1883)
  • a fortress (built in 1770)

The whole place is open to you, and is really nice to discover… Many shuttles leaving Cork will propose you the return trip at interesting rates.

You will thus be able to marvel at the architectural quality of the fort built by the royal engineer Charles Holloway, as well as the prison, very austere, which accommodated during 2 centuries many inmates in terribly precarious conditions. Moreover, it is not for nothing that the prison is nicknamed “The Irish Alcatraz”! Because of its position on the island, the insalubrity of its cells, and the hardness of the guards, this prison was feared by most criminals!

The prison was moreover closed in 1883, but reused during the Irish War of Independence…. Many members of the IRA were detained there during this period, under the assiduous surveillance of the Royal Navy, which occupied the island until July 11, 1938, many years after the Treaty of London…. Spike Island was thus the only Irish island to remain English a few years after the official independence of the Republic of Ireland!

Visits to the different sites are generally made with a guide who will introduce you to the history of each building. Possibility to take a break in a café located in the former prison gymnasium. Don’t forget your camera: if the buildings are exceptional, the natural setting of the island is also to be seen!

Practical informations

Adresse Address: Spike Island - Cork Habour - Cork
Location: (County Cork)

GPS coordinatesGPS : 51.834889,-8.286250

Opening HoursOpening Hours:


Web siteWeb site : Go to the website


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