In the sixth century this was a monastic university with over a thousand students, the "School of Ross" founded by St. Fachtna, part of Ireland's legacy of being the "Island of Saint's and Scholars" and preserving knowledge during the Dark Ages. It was known as Ross-Ailithir (Ross of the Pilgrims), from the large number of monks and students who flocked to its halls from all over Europe. It still has a cathedral where the school was based and St. Fachtna's Cathedral on a hill above the lagoon will give you a sense of its ecclesiastical history.
Today is a small historic town set in picturesque surroundings overlooking a sandy inlet of the rugged West Cork coastline. The town grew up around a monastery, which was established by St. Fachtna in the latter half of the sixth century. Rosscarbery is very enjoyable to take a walk around the village and back down to the water side. The Lagoon attracts a range of wildlife which can be enjoyed in the evening on a stroll. It has some excellent musical pubs and good restaurants including the excellent Pilgrims in the town square.
It is now a peaceful place with an attractive Square and nicely decorated buildings with traditional shop fronts. The wide variety of amenities for young and old within walking distance of the town make Rosscarbery an ideal tourist centre. For those who just want to relax, the Blue Flag Warren Beach, Ownahincha Beach and the Long Strand offer safe bathing and golden sands and are all close by.
Top Tip: At Long Strand you will find an unpretentious seafood restaurant The Fish Basket run by Peter Shanahan. It serves some of the best value local seafood in West Cork best enjoyed while watching the surf crash on the strand and the sun set over Galley Head where your fish was probably caught!