Bantry is a major town at the head of Bantry Bay and is the principal coastal town in this part of West Cork. It is delightfully situated with a spectacular mountain back-drop.
This is an old town with many historical connections. Chief amongst these is that Bantry was the destination of two French Invasions in 1689 and 1796. During the former, the French landed some 2,500 troops and supplies before engaging the British fleet in the famous battle of Bantry Bay.
In 1796, under Wolfe Tone, the French were destined to failure due to the atrocious weather conditions encountered by the fleet. Being un-seaworthy, the vessel "La Surveillante" was scuttled by her crew and was re-located some years ago. It is now a National Monument. The story of the 1796 invasion is graphically told in the Bantry 1796 French Armada Centre located in the grounds of Bantry House.