Monkstown, County Cork

'Monkstown (Irish: Baile an Mhanaigh - 'the town of the monk', formerly anglicised as Ballinvannegh)[1] is a village in County Cork, Ireland, in the old barony of Kerrycurrihy. It lies 14 kilometres southeast of Cork city on the estuary of the River Lee, facing Great Island and looking onto Monkstown Bay.


Baile an Mhanaigh
Glen Road
Glen Road
Monkstown is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°51′01″N 8°20′02″W / 51.850141°N 8.333967°W / 51.850141; -8.333967Coordinates: 51°51′01″N 8°20′02″W / 51.850141°N 8.333967°W / 51.850141; -8.333967
CountyCounty Cork
30 m (100 ft)
 (2002)(Estimated)[citation needed]
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceW767687

History and nameEdit

The name of the village is said to derive from an early monastic site near to where Monkstown Castle now stands.[2][3] Although no archaeological evidence remains for the monastery, the site of the monastery's abbey is referenced (as Legan Abbey) in 19th century maps and works.[4][5] Over time, the name Baile an Mhanaigh/Monkstown overtook the old name Baile an Fealach (Foley's homestead), although the latter name persists in the name of a townland of the village: Ballyfouloo.[6]

Monkstown CastleEdit

Monkstown Castle is a fortified tower house that was constructed around 1636 by Anastasia Archdeacon, reputedly as a surprise gift for her husband John.[7][8] He had been fighting with the Spanish Catholics in the continental wars of the time.[9] As implausible legend has it that, when John Archdeacon's ship entered Monkstown bay, a cannonball was fired at the castle, as it was believed to have been built by an occupying force.[7] Anastasia Archdeacon hired workers to come to Monkstown to build the castle. She housed the workers (in accommodation built specially for them), and fed and clothed them (for a price). Once the workers had settled up their bills with her, it is said that the overall cost of the castle worked out at about four pence.[citation needed] The Archdeacons are buried close by in a now overgrown graveyard.[citation needed]

The castle was, over the centuries, owed or occupied by Cromwellian soldier Thomas Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh Michael Boyle, and the Bernard Shaw family.[7] Later used as a club house for the nearby Monkstown Golf Club, the castle was seriously damaged by fire in the 1970s.[10] The castle has since been partially renovated, and, as of 2018, on the market for sale.[11]

Notable residentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Monkstown (see archival records)". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Monkstown". Archived from the original on 25 May 2007.
  3. ^ "Passage West Monkstown - History". Archived from the original on 29 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Map of Monkstown Castle Area (Site of Lagan Abbey)" (Map). Historic Map 25 inch (1888-1913). Ordnance Survey Ireland. Retrieved 8 November 2018 – via geohive.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1837). A Topological History of Ireland – via Monkstown [..] derives its name from a small establishment of Benedictine monks, called Legan abbey, belonging to the priory of St. John's
  6. ^ "Monkstown Civil Parish → Monkstown Rural Electoral Division → Ballyfouloo". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Monkstown Castle, Monkstown, County Cork". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Fix it up: Monkstown Castle, Co Cork". Independent News & Media. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  9. ^ David Dickson (2005). Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830. Cork University Press. p. 24. ISBN 9781859183557. Monkstown Castle [..was..] built apparently by Anastasia Archdeacon (née Galwey) while her husband was overseas in Spanish military service
  10. ^ "Historic Monkstown Castle is ripe for final restoration". Irish Examiner. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Monkstown Castle, The Demesne, Monkstown, Co. Cork". Former Glory. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.