St Brendan the Navigator, Crookhaven

When Bishop Downes visited Kilmoe in June 1700 he found the existing Church in ruins. The present Church at Crookhaven was built in 1717 by Bishop Peter Browne, who was Bishop of Cork from 1710 – 1735. The Church was dedicated to St. Brendan, the name of the old Church of Kilmoe. In early days St. Brendan's was sometimes called "The Bishop's Church", and the Bishop's Arms are engraved on the outside of the West wall of the Church. St Brendan's Festival Day is May 16th.


For a number of years St. Brendan's remained closed for worship, but it was repaired at a cost of under £20 and re-opened on Sunday 2nd July 1960. At that time the Revd. Christopher Hilliard, who also carved the wooden cross, held a service on Sunday evenings during the summer months. Some of the present furnishings came from Kilshannig Church when it was closed. Kilshannig is part of Mallow Union of Parishes. Special arrangements are made for services in Crookhaven and details will be found here on our web site and in local notices.

There is no electricity supply at St Brendan's and so any lighting has to be from candles and gas lights. A candle-lit Carol service is held there after Christmas every year.



Crookhaven is Ireland's most southerly village, and in early days it was a seaport of importance. During the American Civil War, the news agencies used it as a distribution centre for the latest news. At that time there was no Transatlantic Cable and dispatches were landed at Crookhaven from mail steamers. It was known as "Crookhaven of the Ships."

During the Anglo-French Wars, Britain made Crookhaven a port for naval operations. Sailing ships called at Crookhaven for orders, and the local Post Office remained open day and night. It was connected to Lloyd's Signal Station on Brow Head. Isaac Notter of the Welcome Inn was the Port Pilot, and he supplied the ships with provisions. He died in 1893 and was buried in Crookhaven Churchyard.

Marconi erected his first wireless mast at Crookhaven, on the site of the present Marconi House. Later the mast was erected on Brow Head and Marconi sent his first wireless message from Brow Head to Cornwall. Mr Nottage was appointed Radio Operator at the Marconi Wireless Station. When the Station closed down he settled at Crookhaven and married Mrs. Thomas Notter. Mr. Nottage became the proprietor of the Welcome Inn and lived at Crookhaven for 65 years.

For a number of years there were Copper Mines operating in the neighbourhood of Crookhaven and the ruins can still be seen at either end of Crookhaven Peninsula.

From 1616-1642 there was a flourishing pilchard industry. This was started by Lord Boyle, Earl of Cork. It supplied the French Market and it gave considerable local employment.

To find you way to St Brendan the Navigator at Crookhaven you will find an interactive map here


During the Covid19 epidemic our churches remain closed. Would you please consider a donation towards the ministry and ongoing life of Kilmoe Union of Parishes. Thank you.