Kinsale Market Houses

Map Reference: Map Reference: W638505 (1638, 0505)

In keeping with the narrow streets of Kinsale the market square is very small. The space is almost completely occupied by what is sometimes referred to as 'The New Tholsel' or 'The Courthouse'. This building may have been built as a market house c1600, at which time it was accessible by water. In 1706 it became the courthouse. It is a five-bay two-storey building with attic. At the ground floor there was a five-bay open arcade but the end bays are now blocked. The first floor is weather-slated with a central venetian window.

The attic storey has three weather-slated curvilinear, or Dutch gables. It is the only market house in Ireland with these architectural features, although a similar building is known to have existed in Youghal in the late 17th century. The gables have a clock and four small rectangular windows. The roof has an octagonal louvered cupola.

Sheltered by the open arcade is aboard displaying all the market charges. It is dated November 10 1788.

A short distance away is the old fish market. This is a large rectangular single-storey market hall with a three-bay front with three carriage entrances. The central arch is topped by a curvilinear gable and the arch is wider than the other two. A stone above the archway indicates that the fish market was built in 1784 by the corporation.

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