A Brief History of
Blue Haven Hotel Kinsale
We recently completed the restoration of the Old Kinsale Fish Market wall adjoining the Blue Haven Hotel which now forms the entrance to the Blue Haven Bar and surrounding areas.
The Blue Haven Hotel is built on the site of the Old Fish Market and Meat Market in the town dating back to 1784. Until the late eighteenth century the street the hotel is located on (Pearse Street) was an open waterway. This was covered over at the end of the eighteenth century to create the current street and the buildings that now form the hotel and surrounding wall date from this time. The Blue Haven, after a lengthy 3 year research process into the wall and its history, have restored the wall and Fish Market back to its original glory by restoring the original openings, archways and wall finishes using old photographs, maps and other information on the wall and its surroundings to trace back the origins of the site. The final result is the oldest free standing historical structure in Kinsale town centre being returned to its former glory.
The conservation architects managing the conservation of the Fish Market commented "the Fish Market wall is of considerable cultural heritage merit which bears testament to Kinsale's past as an important fishing port serving local, national and even international markets over its history."
Kinsale was always an important fishing port and the Fish Market was an integral part of this success as a fishing port. In the fifteenth century fish was exported to Bristol, Brittany, La Rochelle and Bordeaux. By the 17th century between sixty and eighty fishing boats operated out of Kinsale catching three to four thousand mackerel a day. Sprats and Herring were fished in the harbour and in the deeper waters outside Kinsale harbour cod, mackerel, hake and turbot were caught. Records show that from the year 1829, 4,612 people were employed in the fishing industry in Kinsale. The late 19th century saw a fishing boom in Kinsale which attracted fishermen from all over Europe. Fish were cleaned ashore and covered with salt and packed in barrels. The Fish Market was a key location in this industry for many years and Kinsale is now known all over the world for its restaurants and seafood stemming from a town with a strong fishing heritage. Over 200 years later, The Blue Haven Food Company now produces the award-winning Blue Haven Seafood Chowder on the very site which was such a pivotal part of Kinsale fishing heritage.
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