River Cork city map pdf in County Cork, Ireland. Other contenders include Halifax Harbour in Canada, and Poole Harbour in the United Kingdom.
The harbour has been a working port, and a strategic defensive hub, for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland’s major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme.
It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping, refining and pharmaceuticals. Cork City is located slightly upstream on the River Lee on the northwest corner of Cork Harbour. Several of the city’s suburbs, including Blackrock, Mahon, Douglas, Passage West and Rochestown lie on Lough Mahon or the Douglas Estuary, both of which are parts of Upper Cork Harbour. The Lower Harbour has a number of towns around its shores.
Passage West, Monkstown, Ringaskiddy and the smaller village of Raffeen are found on the western shore. On the southwestern shore is Crosshaven.
Great Island, which forms the northern shore of the lower harbour, houses the town of Cobh. As of 2011, Cobh had a population of about 12,500. The eastern shore is less densely populated, but has two villages Whitegate and Aghada, both home to power plants. The village of Ballinacurra is on the northeastern spur of the harbour, known as the Ballynacorra River.
Due to the recent expansion of the town of Midleton, Ballinacurra has effectively become a suburb of Midleton, so it could also be said that Midleton lies on Cork Harbour. Cork Harbour hosts the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service. Prior to the transfer of the treaty ports in 1938, Cork Harbour was an important base for the British Royal Navy. Some of the first coastal defence fortifications built in Cork Harbour date to the 17th century, and were primarily intended to protect the approaches to Cork City.
Fort Camden and Fort Carlisle were built at opposite sides of the harbour entrance during the period of the American War of Independence. The fortifications of Camden Fort Meagher overlook the entrance to Cork Harbour. The harbour’s military significance increased during the Napoleonic Wars, when the naval establishment in Kinsale was transferred to Cork Harbour.