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Baltimore

(4.6/5 based on 1,000+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: nature, sightseeing, museums
Baltimore is a village in western County Cork, Ireland. It is the main village in the parish of Rath and the Islands, the southernmost parish in Ireland. It is the main ferry port to Sherkin Island, Cape Clear Island and the eastern side of Roaring Water Bay and Carbery's Hundred Isles.Although the name Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish meaning "town of the big house", the Irish-language name for Baltimore is that of the O'Driscoll castle, Dún na Séad or Dunashad . The recently restored castle is open to the public and overlooks the town.In ancient times, Dunashad was considered a sanctuary for druids and the place name is associated with Bealtaine.HistoryBaltimore enters history as a seat of one of Ireland's most ancient dynasties, the once mighty Corcu Loígde, former Kings of Tara and Kings of Munster.An English colony was founded here about 1605 by Sir Thomas Crooke, 1st Baronet, with the blessing of King James I of England; Crooke leased the lands from Sir Fineen O'Driscoll, head of the O'Driscoll clan. It was a lucrative centre of the pilchard fisheries, and in the early 1600s a great pirate base, where not only all the justices including the vice-admiral of Munster, but the entire population, were involved; all the women of Baltimore were reputed to be either wives or mistresses of pirates. These activities were unaffected by official discouragement under King James, but English piracy generally declined shortly thereafter, partly due to competition from Barbary pirates. In 1607 Baltimore became a market town, with the right to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs. Control passed after Crooke's death to Sir Walter Coppinger.
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