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Castlepark Marina

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Overview





Castlepark Marina is situated less than half a mile upriver from Kinsale town on the east bank and opposite side of the River Bandon. The marina is a full-service marina with ample berths.

Castlepark Marina is situated less than half a mile upriver from Kinsale town on the east bank and opposite side of the River Bandon. The marina is a full-service marina with ample berths.

Set upriver in the fjordlike valley estuary of the River Bandon, and in a virtually landlocked natural harbour, the marina offers complete protection. The same features and scarcity of hazards outside the entrance provide for safe access in all reasonable conditions, night or day on any state of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Castlepark Marina
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingHaul-out capabilities via arrangementMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinityA secure location

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
4 metres (13.12 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
March 24th 2021

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingHaul-out capabilities via arrangementMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinityA secure location

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged



 +353 21 4774959       +353 87 750 2737      info@castleparkmarina.com     castleparkmarina.com      Ch.14/39 [Castlepark Marina]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 41.841' N, 008° 30.962' W

This is the outer head of the marina's 'A' pontoon by the fuel pump.

What is the initial fix?

The following Kinsale Harbour initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 40.014' N, 008° 30.000' W
This waypoint is directly south of the harbour entrance, less than ¼ of a mile southwest of the Bullman Buoy and on clearing bearing of 065° of Blinknure Point open a little south of Frower Point used to clear Bulman Rock between Kinsale and Oyster Haven.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location. Use the directions provided for Kinsale Harbour Click to view haven for approaches.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Castlepark Marina for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 0.2 miles NNW
  2. Sandy Cove - 0.7 miles S
  3. Oyster Haven - 1.5 miles E
  4. Holeopen Bay East - 3 miles S
  5. Holeopen Bay West - 3.1 miles SSW
  6. Coolmain Bay - 4.2 miles WSW
  7. Robert's Cove - 5 miles ENE
  8. Blindstrand Bay - 5 miles SW
  9. Broadstrand Bay - 5 miles SW
  10. Courtmacsherry - 5 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 0.2 miles NNW
  2. Sandy Cove - 0.7 miles S
  3. Oyster Haven - 1.5 miles E
  4. Holeopen Bay East - 3 miles S
  5. Holeopen Bay West - 3.1 miles SSW
  6. Coolmain Bay - 4.2 miles WSW
  7. Robert's Cove - 5 miles ENE
  8. Blindstrand Bay - 5 miles SW
  9. Broadstrand Bay - 5 miles SW
  10. Courtmacsherry - 5 miles WSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Castlepark Marina as seen from the southwest
Image: Michael Harpur


Castlepark Marina lies ⅓ of a mile above the town of Kinsale on the east bank of the River Bandon on the Castlepark peninsula. It is a full service 130 berth marina that can cater for vessels of up to 50 metres LOA and carrying up to 6 metres of water. The town is a 1½ KM walk away but there is a ferry service from June to September, on the hour after 8 am, from the Trident Hotel on Kinsale Quay.


Castlepark Marina
Image: Michael Harpur


Castlepark Marina is operated by Irish Marina Operators Association and can be contacted by VHF Ch. 14/39 [Castlepark Marina], Landline+353 (0)21 4774959, Mobile+353 (0)87 750 2737, E-mailinfo@castleparkmarina.com, Websitewww.castleparkmarina.com and also by Contact Form External link.


How to get in?
Castlepark Marina on the east side of the River Bandon
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use the details provided in available in southwestern Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for approaches.

Castlepark Marina Plan
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Berth as directed by the marina office. Visitors normally come alongside the outer 'F' pontoon.


Why visit here?
The Castlepark peninsula took its name from the original fortification that predated the current James Fort and was called Castle Ny-Parke. Despite the seemly grand title of 'Castle' Park, the original structure that had occupied the harbour's pivotal defensive point was extraordinarily modest. It was really just a small square medieval building with a 16ft-high stone wall, two towers and an external defensive ring. It was, nonetheless, the scene of remarkable heroism during the Seige of Kinsale, see Kinsale Harbour External link, during the final moments of the Nine Years War.


The approaches to James Fort
Image: Michael Harpur


The English forces of Charles Blount and Lord Mountjoy beat the rebels to the 1601 Spanish landings in Kinsale. Pinned down by this vastly superior English force and knowing that Irish rebel forces were rushing to relieve them, the Spanish leader, Águila, decided to barricade his army within the walls of Kinsale. He directed his forces to take the outposts of Castle Ny-Parke and Ringcurran Castle across Kinsale's harbour, which would also be later rebuilt as Charles Fort.


The scant remains of James Fort
Image: Michael Harpur


From the outset, the isolated Castle Ny-Parke across the river, which could only hold a force of 34 Spanish soldiers, was hopelessly exposed. The English commander, Blout, with his heavy artillery and thousands of fresh troops, saw it as the pushover that it was. So he left it unhindered until November 17, Coronation Day, so he could use it as neatly gift-wrapped political victory to present to Queen Elizabeth I. It was a rare misjudgement by Blount, who already knew how doggedly the Spaniards could fight when cornered. But no-one could have foreseen that during the 34 defenders, one of which was a boy, could keep his colossal firepower and 10,000-strong army at bay for four days against impossible odds.

James Fort shows its pentagonal bastioned lines best from above
Image: Michael Harpur


During those four days, the small band held out against naval barrages from the harbour followed by countless overwhelming frontal attacks. Even a medieval siege engine nicknamed 'the sow' was deployed to put an end to the walls. It operated like a portable house that was used to protected 400 workmen whilst they went at the walls with pickaxes via a frontal piglike 'snout' which gave it the nickname. This too was driven off by the Spaniards who heaved giant boulders over the battlements. Nothing seemed to work so the English forces installed a cannon and relentlessly pounded through the stonework of fortification. As soon as the defenders plugged one gap, the cannon simply shifted aim and opened up another and the process continued.

James Fort's commanding view south-eastward over the inner harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


It was only when another cannon was installed and the two guns unleashed a pitiless, unremitting assault night and day that the tables began to turn. Finally, on the grey dawn of November 20, with the two cannon firing in combination, they finally manage to hammer out a wide opening in the wall. 100 English infantry stormed forward to enter the gap, a force that outnumbered the remaining defenders by more than five to one and yet they were again driven back by the extraordinary Spaniards. The English troops regrouped and with reinforcement prepared for another assault only to see the gap had already been sealed up.

James Fort's commanding view westward over the town and river
Image: Michael Harpur


But the Spanish sergeant reviewed his situation at this point. Castle Park was doomed to fall, and half his tiny force lay dead including the boy. Those that remained were injured and completely exhausted after four days without sleep. It was pointless to sacrifice the last 16 brave men to a lost cause. So he reluctantly agreed to yield the fort, provided the survivors’ lives were spared. The determination of the small handful of bloodied defenders that filed out of Castle Park must have left the vast English forces were in awe. The sergeant who led the heroic defence was certainly given special treatment as the English officers’ guest of honour. Although seemingly pointless, the event must have surely illustrated the appalling bloodshed required to take Kinsale from the main Spanish force. It had to have contributed to saving countless lives when both parties eventually agreeing to walk away on good terms during the finally surrendering on the 2nd of January 1603.


The waterfront blockhouse
Image: Michael Harpur


Construction work began on the preset James Fort immediately after the Battle of Kinsale. A similar fort was erected on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour at the same time and Duncannon Fort, in Waterford Harbour, was also strengthened in response to the crises of the Nine Years War. James Fort was completed in 1604 at a cost of £645 and was named James Fort in honour of King James I who was on the English throne at the time of its completion. It is a large pentagonal Bastioned fort and is enclosed by a rampart of earth and sod with a parapet. The outer defences include a ditch and counterscarp, and a covered way on the west side. The entrance is situated on the southern curtain wall. In 1611 the fort's defences were augmented with the construction of an inner stone citadel, a gatehouse and a drawbridge along with other various structures to provide accommodation for troops and so forth. The remains of a detached hexagonal blockhouse that was part of the complex lie close to the water’s edge overlooking the inner harbour.


The waterfront blockhouse gun platform would have been unescapable
Image: Michael Harpur


James Fort was to see further action and change hands several times in the following century. In 1642 the fort held out against the Ormondists but in 1649 was captured by Cromwell without a struggle. In 1667 further work on the defences was undertaken by Lord Orrery. On October 3rd, 1690, James Fort was attacked and taken by Willmite soldiers under the command of the Duke of Wurttenburg. John Churchill, later 1st Duke of Marlborough, retook it after it was damaged by an explosion of gunpowder stores.


Dock Beach on the opposite side of Castlepark Peninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Following the late 17th-century construction of Charles Fort, on the opposite side of the harbour, James Fort became known as the 'old fort' and its importance wained. Charles Fort, called the 'new fort', was operated as a military garrison through to the early 20th-century but James Fort declined in use during the 18th-century and texts and maps noted it as a ruin by the 19th century. It has remained in this condition to the present day. It is today listed as a protected National Monument and managed by the Office of Public Works. The fort is publicly accessible and visited both as a tourist attraction and as an amenity park by walkers and runners.


Castlepark Marina provides a quiet berth on a beautiful peninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Castlepark peninsula is a focal point of Kinsale’s inner harbour and Castlepark Marina offers a quiet berth with all its wonderful parkland to explore. The peninsula comes complete with a lovely beach, Dock Beach the best known of Kinsale’s beaches, just across the Peninsula from the marina. Nestled into the south-facing side of the peninsula it enjoys uninterrupted views of the inner harbour as well as Charles Fort located directly across the harbour.


What facilities are available?
All the facilities of a marina. Free Wifi and water, marine diesel. Customs available on site. Three-phase power for larger vessels. Marine service and repair available. Traditional Irish pub on site. Ferry service to Kinsale town and al fresco dining, on weekends.


Any security concerns?
The Marinas have secure entry systems and crime is minimal to non-existent on moorings.


With thanks to:
Captain Phil Devitt, previous Kinsale Harbour Master.







Kinsale History




Kinsale




James Fort


About Castlepark Marina

The Castlepark peninsula took its name from the original fortification that predated the current James Fort and was called Castle Ny-Parke. Despite the seemly grand title of 'Castle' Park, the original structure that had occupied the harbour's pivotal defensive point was extraordinarily modest. It was really just a small square medieval building with a 16ft-high stone wall, two towers and an external defensive ring. It was, nonetheless, the scene of remarkable heroism during the Seige of Kinsale, see Kinsale Harbour External link, during the final moments of the Nine Years War.


The approaches to James Fort
Image: Michael Harpur


The English forces of Charles Blount and Lord Mountjoy beat the rebels to the 1601 Spanish landings in Kinsale. Pinned down by this vastly superior English force and knowing that Irish rebel forces were rushing to relieve them, the Spanish leader, Águila, decided to barricade his army within the walls of Kinsale. He directed his forces to take the outposts of Castle Ny-Parke and Ringcurran Castle across Kinsale's harbour, which would also be later rebuilt as Charles Fort.


The scant remains of James Fort
Image: Michael Harpur


From the outset, the isolated Castle Ny-Parke across the river, which could only hold a force of 34 Spanish soldiers, was hopelessly exposed. The English commander, Blout, with his heavy artillery and thousands of fresh troops, saw it as the pushover that it was. So he left it unhindered until November 17, Coronation Day, so he could use it as neatly gift-wrapped political victory to present to Queen Elizabeth I. It was a rare misjudgement by Blount, who already knew how doggedly the Spaniards could fight when cornered. But no-one could have foreseen that during the 34 defenders, one of which was a boy, could keep his colossal firepower and 10,000-strong army at bay for four days against impossible odds.

James Fort shows its pentagonal bastioned lines best from above
Image: Michael Harpur


During those four days, the small band held out against naval barrages from the harbour followed by countless overwhelming frontal attacks. Even a medieval siege engine nicknamed 'the sow' was deployed to put an end to the walls. It operated like a portable house that was used to protected 400 workmen whilst they went at the walls with pickaxes via a frontal piglike 'snout' which gave it the nickname. This too was driven off by the Spaniards who heaved giant boulders over the battlements. Nothing seemed to work so the English forces installed a cannon and relentlessly pounded through the stonework of fortification. As soon as the defenders plugged one gap, the cannon simply shifted aim and opened up another and the process continued.

James Fort's commanding view south-eastward over the inner harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


It was only when another cannon was installed and the two guns unleashed a pitiless, unremitting assault night and day that the tables began to turn. Finally, on the grey dawn of November 20, with the two cannon firing in combination, they finally manage to hammer out a wide opening in the wall. 100 English infantry stormed forward to enter the gap, a force that outnumbered the remaining defenders by more than five to one and yet they were again driven back by the extraordinary Spaniards. The English troops regrouped and with reinforcement prepared for another assault only to see the gap had already been sealed up.

James Fort's commanding view westward over the town and river
Image: Michael Harpur


But the Spanish sergeant reviewed his situation at this point. Castle Park was doomed to fall, and half his tiny force lay dead including the boy. Those that remained were injured and completely exhausted after four days without sleep. It was pointless to sacrifice the last 16 brave men to a lost cause. So he reluctantly agreed to yield the fort, provided the survivors’ lives were spared. The determination of the small handful of bloodied defenders that filed out of Castle Park must have left the vast English forces were in awe. The sergeant who led the heroic defence was certainly given special treatment as the English officers’ guest of honour. Although seemingly pointless, the event must have surely illustrated the appalling bloodshed required to take Kinsale from the main Spanish force. It had to have contributed to saving countless lives when both parties eventually agreeing to walk away on good terms during the finally surrendering on the 2nd of January 1603.


The waterfront blockhouse
Image: Michael Harpur


Construction work began on the preset James Fort immediately after the Battle of Kinsale. A similar fort was erected on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour at the same time and Duncannon Fort, in Waterford Harbour, was also strengthened in response to the crises of the Nine Years War. James Fort was completed in 1604 at a cost of £645 and was named James Fort in honour of King James I who was on the English throne at the time of its completion. It is a large pentagonal Bastioned fort and is enclosed by a rampart of earth and sod with a parapet. The outer defences include a ditch and counterscarp, and a covered way on the west side. The entrance is situated on the southern curtain wall. In 1611 the fort's defences were augmented with the construction of an inner stone citadel, a gatehouse and a drawbridge along with other various structures to provide accommodation for troops and so forth. The remains of a detached hexagonal blockhouse that was part of the complex lie close to the water’s edge overlooking the inner harbour.


The waterfront blockhouse gun platform would have been unescapable
Image: Michael Harpur


James Fort was to see further action and change hands several times in the following century. In 1642 the fort held out against the Ormondists but in 1649 was captured by Cromwell without a struggle. In 1667 further work on the defences was undertaken by Lord Orrery. On October 3rd, 1690, James Fort was attacked and taken by Willmite soldiers under the command of the Duke of Wurttenburg. John Churchill, later 1st Duke of Marlborough, retook it after it was damaged by an explosion of gunpowder stores.


Dock Beach on the opposite side of Castlepark Peninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Following the late 17th-century construction of Charles Fort, on the opposite side of the harbour, James Fort became known as the 'old fort' and its importance wained. Charles Fort, called the 'new fort', was operated as a military garrison through to the early 20th-century but James Fort declined in use during the 18th-century and texts and maps noted it as a ruin by the 19th century. It has remained in this condition to the present day. It is today listed as a protected National Monument and managed by the Office of Public Works. The fort is publicly accessible and visited both as a tourist attraction and as an amenity park by walkers and runners.


Castlepark Marina provides a quiet berth on a beautiful peninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Castlepark peninsula is a focal point of Kinsale’s inner harbour and Castlepark Marina offers a quiet berth with all its wonderful parkland to explore. The peninsula comes complete with a lovely beach, Dock Beach the best known of Kinsale’s beaches, just across the Peninsula from the marina. Nestled into the south-facing side of the peninsula it enjoys uninterrupted views of the inner harbour as well as Charles Fort located directly across the harbour.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Sandy Cove - 0.7 miles S
Holeopen Bay East - 3 miles S
Holeopen Bay West - 3.1 miles SSW
Coolmain Bay - 4.2 miles WSW
Courtmacsherry - 5 miles WSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Kinsale Harbour - 0.2 miles NNW
Oyster Haven - 1.5 miles E
Robert's Cove - 5 miles ENE
Ringabella Bay - 5.6 miles ENE
Crosshaven - 6.4 miles NE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Castlepark Marina.
































Kinsale History




Kinsale




James Fort



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