Although steeped in history going as far back as the late 6th century when St. Mochuda of Lismore founded a monastery there, Spike Island is largely known for its 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of Island homes. The island’s rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints which you will learn all about on your guided tour of the Island.
Today the island is dominated by the 200 year old Fort Mitchel named after Jon Mitchel who was incarcerated there in 1848 and it was constructed after the British Government bought the island in 1779. Important to the defence of Cork Harbour, cannons and a variety of large guns where placed there and are still on display on the island. The star shaped Fortress then became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners from the early 19th Century. (WINNER of EUROPE’S LEADING TOURIST ATTRACTION 2017 at the WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS!)
There is also a café and picnic area on site for a lunch option.