Minard is located on a cove on the south coast of the Dingle Peninsula near the village of Lispole. As you approach Minard you can see spectacular views of Dingle Bay on a fine day.
The narrow winding road leads you to a parking spot where the huge rounded boulders obscure the beach but you can see across the bay towards Glenbeigh and Caherciveen on the Iveragh Peninsula.
As you pick your way through an opening in the boulders the full vista of the beach and surrounding cliffs come into view.
The ruins of Minard castle stand high on a rocky promontory overlooking the beach. The beach is sandy and walkable and the boulders on the land side were thrown up by the sea during storms over the centuries and so it is known as a storm beach.
The bay here is called Béal na gCloch (The Bay of the stones).
Minard Castle was a tower house built in the 16th century by the Fitzgeralds. It was originally four stories high but there are only the remains of three left standing. The castle was attacked by the forces of Cromwell in 1650 and although Walter Hussey and all the occupants were killed the castle remained standing.
Tobar Eoin – St. John’s Holy Well
A few hundred metres further west is Tobar Eoin. This holy well has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries and was thought to contain a golden fish which would bring great fortune to anyone who saw it. It was believed that drinking the water coul cure many ailments.
Nearby are the remains of an ancient stone fort. However it was badly damaged, possibly during the Cromwellian attack, but also when the stone from the fort was used for road building during the 18th Century.
Tom Crean and the Coastguard Station
There were numerous coastguard stations established throughout the country in the early 19th century, mainly to combat smuggling. The Dingle Peninsula had about 10 stations including one at Minard.
It was at at Minard Coastguard station that young Dingle, aged 15, signed up to join the British Navy. He went on to join Scott and became a famous Antartic Explorer.