On Sunday, 13th January, East Cork Camera Group paid a visit to Youghal. We met at Green Park and divided into groups in order to cover the entire town. The Clock Gate Tower was our first stop and is the most visible landmark in the centre of the town. Although built in 1777 as a gaol, its story spans 700 years of history. It is divided into four floors. Each floor depicts a different era in time and includes a medieval merchant's dwelling, 18th Century Gaol, a "time-keeping floor" and a former family home.
There was a commanding view from the top of the building. The only sound to be heard was the clicking of cameras until the Clock struck "3" and then we descended with the sound of the bells ringing in our ears. An absolutely fascinating place to visit and we could have spent hours there.
Our next stop was St Marys Collegiate Church, nestled under the protective arms of Youghal's Town Walls in the Raleigh Quarter, which can claim to be the oldest church in Ireland with continuous worship since the 13th Century. The trusses of the stunning nave roof have been carbon dated to the late 12th century. There we photographed plaques and effigies and in particular the magnificent stained glass
One of Ireland's oldest cinemas, the Regal Cinema reopened its doors in 2018 following a year-long renovation. The cinema was built in 1936 and many of its original architectural features have been meticulously restored making a visit a truly nostalgic experience.
We then headed to Youghal Lighthouse which has a unique history beginning in 1190 when a light tower stood on the site of the present tower. The Tower as we know it was built in 1848. Its location is unique in that it is almost in the centre of the town.
We could not leave Youghal without paying a visit to the beach. We all headed down to the front strand to capture the setting sun. As the sun set, we headed for home after a very enjoyable day spent in one of the towns of Ireland's Ancient East.
- Eileen Upton