West Cork Coast

In 2015, the Heritage Council awarded funding towards a project entitled ‘A new timeline for Rosscarbery, featuring the 1755 tsunami’. The beneficiary was Rosscarbery and District Historical Society and the Project Manager was the [email protected]  Co-workers were Gill Boazman, Archaeologist, and William Helps, Artist.

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Rosscarbery Estuary                      Photo: Anthony Beese

The environmental history of town and estuary was interpreted at three stages:

  1. In the early medieval period.
  2. Following the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755.
  3. At the beginning of the nineteenth century when the  estuary was divided by  the main causeway (1809 – 1814).  The causeway was part of the Post Office road between Cork and Skibbereen, and like some recent major developments was controversial. For a short resumeé of the story see https://lagoonactivitycentre.ie/
TsunamiPosterOct7web

Dramatic licence! The poster, shown right is by William Helps. It was used to advertise a series of lectures at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery. An audience of around 125 people attended lectures that included aspects of geology, geography, history and heritage. The ultimate objective is a full reconstruction of the impact of the Lisbon Earthquake on Ireland, presented as a book.

A recent publication by the editor. Rosscarbery: landscape and people. Rosscarbery Past and Present, 19, 113-120.  This article is concerned with the prehistoric and medieval landscape of  Rosscarbery and West Cork, and the people that came to live there. http://www.rosscarbery.ie/about/history/