Often, it’s the unventured path and quiet corners that capture the imagination. Here we present the less well known spots and stories in Youghal, either for their history, beauty or just plain quirkyness!
Temple Michael, Youghal
In 1183, a Preceptory of Knights Templar was established at Rhincrew by Raymond le Gros, an outpost of which was Temple Michael. The ruins still exist today and all sorts of stories of hauntings and strange happenings abound amongst the locals. There is also a ruined Church, dating from approx. 1825.
There is a crypt that you can peek into and many of the graves are of the Halroyd-Smith family, supposedly many of them died in strange circumstances having being cursed by a local woman during famine times. Other stories tell of sightings of an old man in a black trenchcoat, hands clasped behind his back, who is not too friendly to visitors. The whole area can be creepy for a lot of people.
To find Temple Michael, take the N25 to Waterford. Immediately before Youghal Bridge, take the road to your left (Glendine Road) and Temple Michael is located further on, on your right hand side. This road is a wonderful scenic drive too, enclosed on both sides by hilly forests.
Close to the Blackwater River is a level grassy area. This was used for duelling, another spot being Ferry Point (the sand bank visible as you look across from Youghal quays). The area was also used to film a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s movie ‘Barry Lyndon.’
St. Coran’s Well
A graveyard once existed in the field alongside the Well.
Local legend says St. Coran sat between the two thorn trees in quiet contemplation. Many people throw a penny for a wish into the well. The well is blessed. In older times, it was not uncommon for people to tie a ribbon to the trees, almost as if reminding the Saint of their special plea.
To find St. Coran’s Well, leave Youghal Town heading for Cork (N25). Turn right at Summerfield Cross, passing Farrel’s bar on your left hand side. Take the next right again. St. Coran’s Well is located further along this road, on your left hand side.
Greenhole Beach Walk
Only to be attemped at low tide, head for Green Hole Beach, just next to the 1798 memorial park. From there, you can walk at low tide right out to the Front Strand. Be wary of the tide coming in as more than a few strollers have been known to get trapped by the rising tide.
There was once tunnels leading from the Loreto Convent (the Red Brick property that looks down upon the beach) and that led out somewhere here. Other rumours say the tunnels led to the Lighthouse which was tended to by the nuns at one time. Many old buildings in Youghal contain the remains of tunnels, some may have been used for smuggling and to avoid detection.
Moll Goggin’s Corner
As you leave Youghal Town heading towards Cork, you will pass the Lighthouse on your left hand side. Just pass this is a bad bend, known locally as Moll Goggin’s corner. So named, because a young Moll Goggin lost her love to the sea when his ship sank. It was from this corner that she often kept watch for his return, even after all hope had been lost. Some stories tell of sightings of a ghost here, presumably of the heartbroken Moll Goggin still waiting for her love to return.
The Diving Rocks
Just by the Lighthouse, a path leads down to a secluded area. Perfect for the advanced swimmer at high tide, this area should not be used by the novice.
Storm Chasing in Youghal
Perched just by the sea and stretching up along the River Blackwater, Youghal sometimes seems to be situated for a regular bruising by winds, floods and high tides. Watching the waves crash onto the promenade or over the sea walls into the Green Park and Lighthouse Hill makes for spectacular viewing. Care of course, should be taken as some areas are prone to flooding quickly and without warning.