Spike island, located in Cork harbour has been host to numerous sites in its 1300 year history. It was once a monastery, a fort and a prison, which was once the worlds largest convict depot. Today stands a 200 year old star shaped fort named fort Michael which once held over 2300 prisoners, the largest prison in Ireland or the United Kingdom even to this day.
Nowadays, the prison has closed its doors and has turned into a major tourist attraction since the turn of the 21st century. In 2017 it was the winner of the Worlds Travel Awards fending off strong oppositions from more well-known attractions such as Buckingham Palace and the Eiffel tower. Last year the island welcomed over 81,000 visitors.
“Like something out of Hogwarts” was the headline describing this remarkable discovery. Spiral staircases, a 30-meter long underground tunnel, and empty wine bottles were all found here. Historians believe that some of these wine bottles are dated all the way back to the 18th century when British soldiers used to sneak away from their posts for a sneaky drink. Spike island staff are hoping to place some of these in the museum.
“We are only beginning to scratch the surface on this project. We believe that only 30% – 40% of the underground areas which exist on the site have been opened up. So there’s a lot there to be rediscovered,” Mr. Crotty said. Spike Island staff are very excited to present their discovery to visitors shortly.
For more information on visiting Spike Island, click on the link down below.