Baltimore Castle , Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland

Visitor Centre & Pirate Exhibition

Visit this restored 13th century Norman castle and experience 800 years of history. 

Baltimore Castle, known as Dún na Séad castle, was built in 1215 by an Anglo-Norman, Sleynie. It became the chief residence of the O' Driscoll clan for  300 years and was the centre of administration for their trading and piratical activities. In 1631 the castle narrowly escaped attack by a band of  pirates from Algiers, who landed in Baltimore and took 107 captives to a life of slavery in North Africa. In 1649 it became a garrison for Cromwellian troops, after which it declined into a state of ruin. In 1997 the extensive task of restoration began, which restored the castle to its former splendour.

Major features to a visit of the castle include:

  • A stroll through the Great Hall on the first floor, which contains furnishings, tapestries and an historical description of the castle's 800 year history.
  • Pirate exhibition giving graphic details of Baltimore's piratical history, including "The Sack of Baltimore" in 1631.
  • A view of archaeological details on castle grounds and a display of archaeological finds.
  • A walk on to the battlements, which offers an unimpeded view of the roof restoration and provides a commanding view of Baltimore harbour and the islands.