Embark on your Ireland’s Ancient East or Wild Atlantic Way Adventure from this historical location. Commanding panoramic views of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, the tiny fishing village of Cobh (the cove of Cork) was virtually unknown up until the early 1800s.
With the advent of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), Cork Harbour became an important refuelling and assembly point for British naval and commercial ships. Up to 300 ships at a time could be seen at anchor in the waters of Cobh!
Queen Victoria’s visited in 1849 and Cobh was renamed Queenstown in her honour. By then the village had grown into a busy town. It became a hive of naval and commercial activity as Cork Harbour’s strategic position in the North Atlantic was recognised.
Tall ships called to transport convicts to Australia and to carry emigrants to North America. Wine arrived from Bordeaux. Ships carrying food, leather and timber left from Cobh to journey to the four corners of the globe. Later, the Transatlantic steamers and great ocean liners continued the task of carrying the Irish to new lives in new lands. From 1848 to 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland. About 3 million left from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration.