Youghal - Encyclopedia

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YOUGHAL (pronounced Yawl), a seaport, market town and watering-place of county Cork, Ireland, on the W. side of the Blackwater estuary, and on the Cork & Youghal branch of the Great Southern & Western railway, 264 m. E. of Cork. Pop. (1901) 5393. The collegiate church of St Mary, in the later Decorated style, was erected in the 11th century, but rebuilt in the 13th, and since that time frequently restored. It contains a beautiful monument to the 1st earl of Cork. The college was founded by an earl of Desmond in 1464. There are still a few fragments of the Dominican friary founded in 1269. The Clock Gate (1771) is noticeable, and portions of the old walls are to be seen. Myrtle Grove was formerly the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh. He was mayor of Youghal in 1588-89, and is said to have first cultivated the potato here. The harbour is safe and commodious, but has a bar at the mouth. At the N. extremity of the harbour the river is crossed by a bridge on wooden piles. The principal exports are corn and other agricultural produce; the imports are coal, culm, timber and slate. Coarse earthenware and bricks are manufactured. Fine point-lace commanding high prices is made by the Presentation Sisters. The Blackwater is famous for salmon, and sea-fishing is important. The Strand, the modern portion of the town, has all the attributes of a seaside resort.

Youghal (Eschaill, " the Yew wood") was made a settlement of the Northmen in the 9th century, and was incorporated by King John in 1209. The Franciscan monastery, founded at Youghal by FitzGerald in 1224, was the earliest house of that order in Ireland. Sir Roger Mortimer landed at Youghal in 1317. The town was plundered by the earl of Desmond in 1579. In 1641 it was garrisoned and defended by the earl of Cork. In 1649 it declared for the parliament, and was occupied as his headquarters by Cromwell. It sent two members to parliament from 1374 till the Union, after that only one down to 1885.

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