The Emerald Isle

battlements nearly 90ft (30m) above the ground, offers the gift of eloquence to anyone able to kiss it. There are also some fine examples of the Anglo-Irish legacy in this part of the country. Near Cobh is the Fota Wildlike Park and Arboretum, in which many kinds of exotic animals, including apes, cheetah, giraffe, and zebra, have the run of the 18th-century landscaped park which surrounds the classically elegant Fota House. North of Cork and beyond the valley of the Blackwater river, in a quiet area known as the Golden Vale, where there are several more castles and houses of interest, including the fine Doneraile Court, once home of the St. Leger family and another mansion whose fine parkland is home to a wildlife reserve, and Kilcolman Castle, once inhabited by Edmund Spenser and his family but a ruin since it was The Emerald Isle OPPOSITE ABOVE: Fota House has been restored and conserved by the Irish Heritage Trust. The House, arboretum, and gardens are open to the public from March to September. OPPOSITE BELOW: St. Patrick’s Quay on the north channel of river Lee, Cork. ABOVE: The waterfront of Cobh Harbour with The Cathedral Church of St. Colman, usually known as Cobh Cathedral pictured behind. OVERLEAF: The “Long Hall,” clock tower, and quadrangle of University College, Cork. The university was founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges located in Belfast, Cork, and Galway. 207