Napoleonic Era Signal Tower

19th Century Technology

Our day of touring Kinsale and environs, the last day of May 2014, began with this elegant breakfast by Marantha House near Blarney, our base for County Cork.

On the way to the Old Head of Kinsale. Located in Knocknacurra on the Kinsale side of Bridge Kinsale on R600. Looking toward the peninsula of Castle Park Village and James Fort. Coordinates 51°41’40.1″N 8°31’42.0″W

This tower, at the apex of the Old Head ring route, has extensive views. The next station at Seven Heads, to the southwest, is visible against the skyline on a clear day. These are two of the 81 stations planned for this signaling system implemented in the first years of the 19th century when a French naval invasion was a possibility.

The Kinsale tower is just over nine meters high, with walls up to 80 cm thick. Records show a signal crew was in place in 1804 and the tower finished the following year, though severely affected by dampness. When Napoleon was defeated by Wellingtons forces at Waterloo, 1815. With the diminished threat these expensive installations were neglected. The 1899 Ordnance Survey map lists the site as being in ruins. During our 2014 visit the local community was renovating the tower and the work appears complete sometime before 2021.

Click me for Irish Times 2013, “Ireland’s Napoleonic-era signal towers.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Marian Devotion

Prison Break

Mullioned windows along the nave provide brilliant illumination, into the side aisles where we see, in the following photograph, a chapel devoted to a Marian Apparition.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

The framed image is the appearance of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, appearing to six native children. The event, called a Marian Apparition, does not correspond to any such event I am aware of. Nor did one come up in my researches. The most famous appearance of Mary in the Americas if the Virgin of Guadalupe who appeared to a man, a recent convert to Catholicism from the Aztec religion, Saint Juan Diego, and is Uncle,  Juan Bernardino, in the year 1531, Mexico. I provided a list of Marian Apparations under references.

The left aisle hosts another Marian chapel, a Madonna.

The most accessible Marian Devotion is the rosary, here in the form of crystal beads.

Instead of an arch, the central aisle is a flat roof with some additional support from wood beams. We will explore the side aisles in later posts.

Click me for the first post of this series.



Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

List of Marian Apparitions

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved