Coppingers Court Ruins – Our Journey Into Ireland’s Past



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Coppingers Court Ruins – Our Journey Into Ireland’s Past

Coppinger's Court ruins, west wall, county cork, Ireland

Coppingers Court Ruins looks more like a haunted house than a former Grand Stronghold.  But it was that pervasive cryptic appeal that had Bob and I veering off R597 in County Cork,  in search of its exact location.

Coppinger's Court ruins, county cork, Ireland

The sunny day saw us driving along the scenic coastal road, that still allowed staggering speeds of 100 kph, en route to Killarney.  Our intention was to check out Drombeg Stone Circle near Clonakilty, but our progress was interrupted when we spotted, on the far side of a valley, the ruins of a manor house or castle.  Bob, letting serendipity rule the day, turned down a well-worn side road in search of the intriguing ruins.  We had no idea where we were going, but sometimes, the unexpected makes for a more interesting experience.

Coppinger's Court ruins, hills beyond castle walls, county cork, Ireland

In a perfectly pastoral setting, we finally located the derelict structure.  It was kind of eerie poking around it as it was just me and Bob tiptoeing through the long meadow grasses with not a single sole in sight.  It became apparent to us that a farmer was using these noble-appearing ruins to shelter his livestock as the now gaping holes in the ground floor walls were gated with rudimentary wooden barriers.  Floors have given way to the bare earth that was sorely trodden and muddy from much hoof activity.

cow in field beside coppingers court ruins, ireland

Surrounded by farmer’s fields now, with a group of cows grazing in its shadow, stand the decrepit stone walls that once supported a thick growth of ivy.

Coppinger's Court ruins, horse checks us out, county cork, Ireland

Nearby pastures were sectioned off with stone fences, and both the cows and one forlorn horse were passing the day there.  Their curiosity had them coming to the edge of their enclosures to see what we were about.

Coppinger's Court ruins, view through west wall, county cork, Ireland

It wasn’t until after Bob and I left these ruins behind that we became enlightened as to their sordid past.  Continuing down the narrow dirt road, we came across a local couple walking their dogs, and they were eager to share the history with us.    It turns out that the impressive multi-sided, four-storey house was built by Sir Walter Coppinger shortly before 1616.  The beautiful location where it is found is the fertile Ballyvirine Valley west of Rosscarbery.

Coppinger's Court ruins, former fireplace upon wall, county cork, Ireland