Kinsale has been designated an Irish Heritage Town. Early settlers in Ireland came to live in the area which we now know as Kinsale. Indeed the Old Head of Kinsale has been attributed as the site for some of the earliest settlers in Ireland. Kinsale also has an important place in Irish history. It was near here in 1601 that the Battle of Kinsale was fought. At this battle the Spanish allies challenged the power of the English troops. In December of that year the English proved to be victorious. It is believed that Kinsale town was founded by the Anglo-Normans in about the year 1177, in a small walled area, which was close to the water. Kinsale received its first of several Charters in 1334 from Edward III by which time it was a well-established town. Prosperity in Kinsale continued in the l5th and l6th centuries, and in 1666 it was described as "One of the most important harbours in Europe", with a substantial trade in wine and salt. The town was a significant naval base in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed in the l8th century Kinsale seems to have enjoyed a degree of prosperity not otherwise common in Ireland. Kinsale has for centuries therefore had close European connections, and in 1966 it became the first town in Ireland to be awarded the Flag of the Council of Europe.