Wednesday, September 30, 2009
ABC Wednesday - K is for Knightstown
We visited Knightstown on Valentia Island (NOT Valencia Island as marked on some maps) in April 1999. We were staying at Kenmare in County Kerry and had set off across country. The rain in Ireland can be fierce and as we drove into the town of Caherciveen the water was bouncing 18 inches high as it hit the road. We didn't take the ferry across but drove several miles to Portmagee where there is a bridge across to the island. We kept on driving until we arrived at Knightstown. Here we found a little cafe. We parked outside and decamped into it as quickly as we could. After refreshing ourselves I took this quick photograph looking down into town with its clock tower by the ferry to Caherciveen.
We returned in September 2000 on a sunny day and explored in more comfort.
The first transatlantic cable to achieve long term success was laid from Foilhommerum, Valentia Island to Hearts Content, Newfoundland on the 13th July 1866 by the largest ship of that time, 'The Great Eastern.' Queen Victoria and President Andrew Johnson exchanged congratulatory messages via the transatlantic cable on July 29, 1866 just two days after the Great Eastern arrived at Heart's Content.
A cable station in Knightstown opened on September 20, 1868 and was closed in 1966 by Western Union International. The cable station is now a factory and the cable houses are now private homes. The buildings are situated on the lower road from Knightstown to Chapeltown.
There is more information about this on the Atlantic Cable website.
Later we went back to Portmagee and took a boat out to the Skelligs from the Skellig Experience Centre but that's a tale for another day.
For more K posts visit ABC Wednesday.