Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Island 370 - Port Island, Inishbofin, County Galway

Port Island is a small tidal island linked at low tide by a beach of silver sand to the south coast of Inishbofin.  I visited about an hour after low tide and would think that the beach is uncovered for longer than it is covered by the sea.  The island is about 500 metres by 200 metres. 

After the 1641 Irish Rebellion Royalist forces held out on Inishbofin until they were finally forced to surrender to Oliver Cromwell's troops.  Cromwell then had a star-shaped fort built on Port Island in c1656.  Catholic priests were imprisoned in it until the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660. 

The fort was garrisoned by Irish Jacobites during the Williamite War (1688-91) when the Jacobites, who supported the deposed Catholic King James II, fought against the Protestant King William III, who had replaced him on the throne.  They held out until the Battle of Aughrim in 1691, when they surrendered to the Williamite forces.

The fort is known locally as Cromwell's Barracks and the extensive ruins can be explored. 

The gap between Inishbofin and Port Island at low tide

Cromwell's Barracks

Port Island

Cromwell's Barracks

Bofin Harbour from Cromwell's Barracks

Bofin Harbour

Cromwell's Barracks

Cromwell's Barracks

Signal Tower from Cromwell's Barracks

Cromwell's Barracks

Main Gateway into Cromwell's Barracks

Cromwell's Barracks

Looking across to Cromwell's Barracks from Inishbofin

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