Bandon and the past...
Ever changing and growing, Bandon is fun and fascinating. While a modern and expanding town, every step holds an echo from the past. Situated on the doorstep of the Wild Atlantic Way, Bandon and the surrounding area are awash with history, making it the perfect place to explore West Cork and the wider area from. The story of Bandon town reflects the changing moments of Irish society. Before 1600, there was no town where Bandon now stands, the area called Kilnameaky, was part of the hold of the O’Mahony’s. Taking its name from the River, Bean Dea (meaning wise woman or goddess), the town was established as a colony at the southern frontier of the Munster Plantations. Walls six feet thick, were built around the Bandon as the colonists came under persistent counter-attack of the Irish. Today Bandon as the southernmost walled town, forms part of the Irish Walled Town Network. You can still see remains of the wall standing today though the greater part fell in 1689. Bandon moved and changed with the times. By the 19th century, the town was a leading industrial centre – first as a cotton mill town and then for a time as the whiskey capital of Ireland, being home to the world-famous Alman’s distillery.
West Cork Heritage Centre
Housed in the former Christchurch on North Main Street Bandon, this unique and charming exhibition transports visitors through time to experience Bandon town as it was in time’s past.
Christchurch dates back to circa 1610 and is built on the site of a Danish Fort. It was one of the earliest Protestant churches in Ireland and was a church for 363 years. It was deconsecrated in 1973. Some Bandon church records are held at the West Cork Heritage Centre.
A portion of the old Bandon walls are part of the structure of the building. The church now hosts a series of exhibitions with the theme of Bandon’s history.
Cumann Seanchas na Bandan
If you want to delve a little deeper into local history, then look up our local Bandon Historical society. Formed in 1979 they produce a yearly historical journal of articles pertaining to local interest.
Kilmurry Independence Museum
Hundreds of artefacts at the Independence Museum Kilmurry tell Ireland’s history from 1750 to the 1930s. Kilmurry Village is 30 minutes from Cork City off the main Cork to Killarney Road at Lissarda.
Michael Collins: Michael Collins is synonymous with West Cork. Born in Woodfield near Clonakilty, ……. and departed Bandon from the Munster Arms Hotel on that fateful 22nd August 1922 to Béal na Bláth. There are numerous events planned for his centenary this year with the Michael Collins Centenary Commemoration Festival running 14th-22nd August to coincide with our walled town Festival.
Michael Collins Trail: visits key locations pertaining to his life.
Michael Collins House and Interpretative Centre:
Michael Collins Centre, Castleview, Clonakilty
Michael Collins Birthplace:
A star fort of the late 17th century, as one of the country’s largest military installations, Charles Fort has been part of some of the most momentous events of Irish history.
Kinsale Guided History Walks
If you want to learn more about the history of this coastal gem, join Barry Moloney on his informative and entertaining Town Heritage Walks.
The Lusitania Museum & Old Head Signal Tower.
Bandon Scéál Trail
Scéal Trail – a trail of murals highlighting Dúchas tales from the Bandon area Bandon. Scéál tells the story of our cultural heritage in a contemporary way, bringing the best of Irish Street Artists together to create murals inspired by the stories of Bandon from the National Folklore Collection.
Church of the Ascension:
Bandon Walled Town Trail
Though the walls of Bandon stood for less than 100 years their existence shaped the town we live in today. Follow our trail along points of historical interest around the town.