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SPIKE ISLAND TOURS - St PATRICKS WEEKEND
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LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TRULY IRISH TO DO THIS ST PATRICKS WEEKEND? HOW ABOUT TAKING A FERRY JOURNEY ACROSS CORK HARBOUR TO THE HERITAGE ISLAND THAT HAS 1300 YEARS OF IRISH HISTORY!
The story of Spike Island off the coast of Cobh has been the story of Ireland. From the 6th century monastery built by St Mochuda, to the 18th century British Fortress built to defend an empire. From the worlds largest prison during the famine years of the 1850's, to the centuries of island homes that have housed both military and civilian personnel. This amazing and beautiful 104 acre island has echoed the demands and wishes of those in power on the mainland, and today the island is in a unique position to retell the story of over 1300 years of Irish penal, military, social and religious history.
Spike Island is open to visitors on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of March as we celebrate St Patricks weekend. On this the most Irish of weekends we will be giving visitors a fully guided tour of our island, Fortress and Prison on our 12pm and 2pm boats, as our storytellers relay centuries of Irish history and heritage. Boat spaces are limited so advance booking is highly recommened. Return boats will be 3 1/2 hours after departure, and your ticket price includes the return ferry, a fully guided tour lasting up to 1 1/2 hours, time for self exploration of our attractions and time to visit the cafe. Please select either the 12pm or 2pm sailing and be sure to pick the right day when booking.
We also have a very special SPIKE ISLAND MOVIE PREMIER EXPERIENCE! Former Spike resident and South American explorer Percy Fawcett has had the Hollywood treatment, and his Brad Pitt produced movie is being released Friday 24th March. Its called the Lost city of Z and stars Robert Pattinson, Charlie Hunnam and Sienna Miller. We have tickets to the PREMIER in Corks Gate cinema on Tuesday 21st March at 6.30, and they are FREE with each purchase of the Percy Fawcett tour at 2pm Saturday 18th. Click www.spikeislandlostcityofz.eventbrite.ie for Saturday at 1pm, or www.spikeislandlostcityofzsunday.eventbrite.ie for Sunday at 2pm, and for more info and to book. Those not wanting free cinema passes with Percy Fawcett tour can just book the 1pm or 2pm regular tour on this page.
Attractions include the 1850's Punishment block, which was described as 'hell on earth' by the penal classes in Britain and Ireland during the famine years. There is also the contrast with our modern prison cells, built in the 1980's to house the growing number of joyriders being incarcerated.
On the military front we have a military museum with Army, Navy and social exhibtions. There is Irelands largest military gun park with its artillery, military vehicles and impressive weaponary, always a hit with children. And for the adventrous you can walk the long tunnels deep into our forts walls to find the 6" harbour defense guns, whose powerful barrels could fire a shell over 12 miles out to sea!
We also represent the social history of our island and there are social history rooms alonside a room dedicated to Cork Harbour which contains a graphic representation of the harbour which kids can use to fire the forts cannons! And in our former childrens prison we have a room dedicated to Nationalist John Mitchel and an audio visual installations that relays over 150 years of prison life.
Visitors can also enjoy access to our Aud exhibtion, the 1916 German gun running ship which tried to send arms to aid the Easter rising. In short, we recommend bringing your walking shoes, for not only is there the attractions inside the fort, but our outer island offers unrivalled views of Cobh and Cork harbour!
We look forward to welcoming you to Fortress Spike! See www.spikeislandcork.ie for more Spike history. Advance booking highly recommended.