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.

17 comments:

  1. First - the description reminded me of our visit to Dufftown in Scotland. We had rented a car in Aberdeen and driven up through a torrent even a Norwegian could drown in, to have look at a distillery. But it was closed. However, a small, cosy cafe run by an old grandmother saved the day.

    Second - you have taught me something I didn't know, and I thank you for that. Knowledge is never wasted.

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  2. Yes, I always learn something from your posts and that's what makes them so interesting! I love the little red clock tower!

    Thanks, Gerald!

    Sylvia

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  3. It's really great to learn about 'new' places that I can dream about visiting perhaps someday.
    Thanks!

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  4. I heard somewhere that on maps there's always one place mispelled so the cartographers can tell if their maps have been copied. I wonder if that's really true or just an excuse a proofreader made up.

    The laying of the first Atlantic cable really was an amazing feat for its time!

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  5. I've driven past Valentia Island so many times and never had the chance to visit. I really have to go back someday and visit. Thanks for the photos!

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  6. We met the same situation this summer in a small village named "Laines aux Bois" near Troyes. Although the main street was a slope, we had to drive into 20 centimeters of water and had to escape upward to a parking place.

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  7. I visited the island a couple of years ago but luckily we had perfect blue skies and sun, unusual for Ireland. Like your dramatic clouds

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  8. A nice little adventure in the rain, - thanks for sharing.

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  9. The skies certainly look ominous in that first photo; I hope the rest of your trip was a little drier. I had no idea the first transatlantic cable began in Ireland. Thanks for sharing this!

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  10. Rain filled sky for sure - the photos are wonderful. Lovely places.

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  11. Now you're talking about my neck of the woods. We go to this part of Kerry every year on holidays - just up the road from Cahirciveen, at Glenbeigh. Valentia always gets a visit. It's a lovely spot, but I agree, better when the rain isn't falling in sheets.

    Look forward to seeing what you thought of the Skelligs; I've been there too, on a very hot sunny day. Magic place.

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  12. Must say the weather looks like Albany, NY weather recently. Another place I need to travel to.

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  13. Beautiful, and historic, too! I bet it gets cold in the winter, though. Not sure I'd want to live there.

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  14. Very interesting and informative post. We have Marconi Beach on Cape Cod where the first cross-atlantic wireless was sent. But they said it actually came through the cross-atlantic cable, the wireless was not really function well at that first day. I have a post for it.

    http://graceandbradley.blogspot.com/2009/07/marconi-beach-cape-cod.html

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  15. Thanks for jogging my memory cells Gerald. We went to the west of the island and found the most westerly pub there with a sign "next stop USA". Two Australians were doing it up. No beer flowing. Only the sun coming asnd going and the wind blowing the clouds ragged.

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