In the last 1300 years, Spike Island has been host to a 7th-century Monastery, a 24-acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. The island’s rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints.
Today the island is dominated by the 200-year-old Fort Mitchel, the star-shaped Fortress which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners. It was the largest prison in the world at the time and there has never been a larger prison in Ireland or Britain before or since. Discover more about our rich history and colourful characters here.