In terms of its history, Kinsale is perhaps best known for the Battle of 1601, a major turning point in Irish and World History which marked the end of Spanish domination of the New World and the decline of the Gaelic way of life with the Flight of the Earls to Rome.
Also of world importance was the sinking of the Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale in May 1915, considered a major factor in bringing the U.S. into World War One after the inquest in the Old Courthouse returned a verdict of murder against the Kaiser and the German forces.
However, there is much more to this unique town, located in a safe harbour, and in a strategic location on the trade route between Europe and North America. It was a base for the earliest settlers, the Celts, and they were followed by the Vikings, who called it the Place of the Inner Fjord, followed by the Normans and the English.
Saint Multose (also known as Eltin) established the first church and is reputed to have cursed the fortunes of the local residents, while another legend claims that Carraig Oisín on the World's End dates back to the Fianna who watched for Roman invaders at the Old Head. Eight hundred years ago the Normans built Saint Multose Church, and the DeCourcey castles at the Old Head and Ringrone, as Kinsale became a walled town.