Crosshaven (Irish: Bun an Tábhairne)[2] is a village in County Cork, Ireland. It is located in lower Cork Harbour at the mouth of the River Owenabue, across from Currabinny Wood.[3] Originally a fishing village,[4] from the 19th century, the economy of the area became more reliant on a growing tourism industry.[4][5]


Bun an Tábhairne
Crosshaven is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°48′07″N 08°17′43″W / 51.80194°N 8.29528°W / 51.80194; -8.29528Coordinates: 51°48′07″N 08°17′43″W / 51.80194°N 8.29528°W / 51.80194; -8.29528
CountyCounty Cork
40 m (130 ft)
 (Includes rural catchment
and Church Bay)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceW792606


The modern Irish name for Crosshaven village is Bun an Tábhairne.[2] While some sources link the word tábhairne to the English word "tavern", other sources suggest that it is a corruption of "tSabhairne" a grammatical form of the word "Sabhrann" the name of a local river. Bun refers to "river mouth" when in reference to placenames. Therefore, the name is potentially translated to "The Mouth of the River Sabhrann".[citation needed] The old Irish name for the east side of the village was Cros tSeáin or "John's cross", from which the English name derives.[2] John's cross refers to the Norman castle built around Castle point.[citation needed]


Crosshaven was originally a Viking settlement, part of what was known as the 'Ostman's Tancred', after Cork city became a fortified English stronghold.[6]

According to local folklore, Sir Francis Drake sailed up the River Owenabue, while taking refuge from the Spanish Armada. A point in the river where he is alleged to have hidden is known as Drake's Pool.[7]

The local secondary school, Coláiste Mhuire, was founded by an aunt of James Joyce,[6] and the town is mentioned twice in Joyce's novel Ulysses.[8][9]

Nearby coastal artillery and military forts, Fort Templebreedy and Camden Fort Meagher were British outposts until the Treaty Ports installations were relinquished in 1938. Camden is located on the headland of Rams Head and is occasionally open to the public.[10]

Economy and tourismEdit

View of Crosshaven from Curraghbinny

Originally a fishing village,[4] in the late 19th and into the 20th century, tourism became important to the town,[5] which has 5 beaches within a 2-mile radius. The area saw an increase in 'holiday homes' in the mid-20th century,[11] accommodating families from Cork city who stayed locally in the summer months[5] - some of these temporary cabins were initially built using very large packing crates from the Ford factory in Cork.[12][13][14]

Tourism attractions in the town included Piper's funfair (known as "the merries"), a nightclub called The Majorca (now closed), a cinema (also since closed), and the Cockleshell (now an arcade called La Scala).[citation needed] Today Crosshaven is becoming a commuter town for Ringaskiddy and Cork city.[citation needed]

In the 1970s and 1980s, environmental concerns came to the fore as a large industrial estate was built across the river in Ringaskiddy.[citation needed] It has been host Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies.


Royal Cork Yacht Club

The village is home to Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) which has had its headquarters in the village since 1966.[15] The club was established at the Cove of Cork (now Cobh) in 1720 and holds the title of the oldest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1966 the RCYC merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and made the Royal Munster's club house its headquarters. The biennial Regatta of Cork Week (formerly Ford Cork Week due to the sponsorship of the Ford Motor Company)[16] draws many competitors and upwards of 15 thousand spectators to each competition.[17]

Crosshaven AFC is one of the oldest soccer clubs in Cork, and was founded in 1898.[18] The club has two pitches, an all-weather training area and four-dressing-room clubhouse.

Crosshaven RFC (Rugby Union Football Club) was founded in 1972,[19] and has two pitches, an all-weather pitch and a gym located at Myrtleville Cross in Crosshaven.

The local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Crosshaven GAA, which has teams playing both hurling and Gaelic football.

Crosshaven Triathlon Club meets for training on the walkway, with swimming at Myrtleville.[citation needed]


The town is situated on the R612 regional road, and served by a single bus from Cork city centre via Carrigaline. Cork Airport is the nearest airport, and there are also ferries to France from nearby Ringaskiddy.

Crosshaven railway station was the southern terminus of the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway (which originally opened in 1850, but only extended south of Passage West at the start of the 20th century).[20] The station opened on 1 June 1904, and finally closed on 1 June 1932.[21]


Notable residents have included the father of Bob Geldof, who was manager of the local Grand Hotel for a time,[22] and Chelsea FC's all-time 2nd greatest scorer, Bobby Tambling.[23]

Sister townEdit

Crosshaven has been twinned with Pleumeur-Bodou, France, since 1992.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 - Small Area Population Statistics (SAPMAP Area) - Settlements - Crosshaven-Church Bay". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office.
  2. ^ a b c "Bunachar Logainmneacha na hÉireann". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Currabinny". 23 May 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Samuel Lewis (1837). "Crosshaven". A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland – via Crosshaven [..] comprises about 100 houses [..] and several handsome villas and lodges, the summer residences of those who visit the coast for seabathing, closely adjoin the village. An extensive fishery was formerly carried on, but it has so much declined
  5. ^ a b c Kieran McCarthy, Daniel Breen (2014). Cork Harbour Through Time. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445634265. In the late 1800s, Crosshaven flourished from a quiet backwater into a tourism resortCS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b "Breath taking crosshaven". Cork Independent. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Towns in Ireland - Crosshaven". Retrieved 26 February 2017. On approach to Crosshaven you will pass Drake's Pool about 2 km upriver from Crosshaven. [..] The name of Drake's pool comes from an incident during in the 1700s when Admiral Francis Drake eluded the Spanish Armada by sailing upriver at Crosshaven and taking cover at this spot.
  8. ^ "A truly magical haven by the coast". Southern Star. 24 August 2014.
  9. ^ Don Gifford, Robert J. Seidman (2008). Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses. University of California Press. p. 268. ISBN 9780520253971.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Rescue Camden | Fort Camden, Crosshaven, Co. Cork". Archived from the original on 25 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Examiner Property Section - Myrtleville, Cork". Irish Examiner. 12 July 2014. Crosshaven got hugely popular with Cork City families after WWII, with many built of old Ford boxes, or in converted railway carriages
  12. ^ "Tight squeeze for summer property in Graball Bay". Irish Examiner. 7 July 2007.
  13. ^ "Ford Boxes" (PDF). Evening Echo. December 2005 – via holiday homes [..] known as ‘Ford Boxes’ [..were made from..] sheeted timber packing crates for tractor parts that came into Ford's Cork factory from ships
  14. ^ "Family reunites at holiday home made from old Ford crates". Irish Examiner. 15 April 2017.
  15. ^ "RCYC - Club History". Royal Cork Yacht Club. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Events - Cork Week - Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Volvo Cork Week regatta to attract 20,000 visitors". Sunday Business Post. 26 June 2016. Volvo Cork Week is expected to generate about €1.5 million for the local economy [.. and ..] expected to attract between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors, from Ireland and overseas
  18. ^ "Crosshaven AFC - The Club". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Crosshaven RFC - Home". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Crosshaven Railway". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Crosshaven station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  22. ^ "Geldof reckons Rats deserve top billing". Irish Examiner. 23 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Royalty on the King's Road". Irish Examiner. 11 May 2013. [..] Crosshaven has been Tambling’s home for decades [..]
  24. ^ "Crosshaven - Pleumeur-Bodou". Retrieved 8 March 2017.

External linksEdit