History of Shana Court in Castletownshend
The village of Castletownshend grew up around the castles built by the Townshend family from 1650. In the early days the village was not based around the castle but further round the western part of the harbour in Castlehaven near the glen of St Barrahane. The village moved to Castletownshend after the building of the present C of I church in Castletownshend called St Barrahanes 1826.
The original castle was built by Richard Townesend where he tried to settle after his many military campaigns in Ireland with Cromwell before the restoration of Charles II in 1666. Originally called Castletown then later Castle Townsend and finally being named Castletownshend in 1870.
Shana Court was built in 1745 by the British Government on land owned by the Townshends for use as a customs house for Skibbereen which at the time was a thriving port.
The picturesque village, set on a steep hill leading down to the castle and the sea, is about one hour from Cork Airport and Ferryport. It has a general store/newsagent, sub post office, two pubs. Opposite Shana Court is Mary Annes pub which produces fine quality local seafood as a speciality to restaurant quality. Mary Annso hosts the Warren Art Gallery promoting both local and international artists. Castletownshend is famous for being the home of writers Somerville and Ross who wrote the Irish R.M. books, and the studio/museum in Drishane House is open to the public at seasonal times through the year.
Other interests in the vacinity include a public stony beach which is clean and safe for swimming 㡮dycove is located about two miles away for those who like the sand, public tennis court, Knockdrum Stone Circle just outside the village with the 鶥 Fingers㴡nding stones close by. West Cork is also one of the best places in Europe for seeing Whales, dolphins and Seals and trips out to see can be arranged with Colin Barnes who can pick you up from the public pier. There are also many dive sites and wrecks round this coast for those who like to explore under water and trips can be booked with Baltimore Diving Centre.