The name 'Cork' derives from the Irish 'Corcach Mór Mumhan' (pronounced Kurcuk moor moon), which means the 'great marsh of Munster'.   Cork is the capital city of the province of Munster.

Cork City is Ireland's third city (after Dublin and Belfast) and has always been an important seaport. It began on an island in the swampy estuary of the River Lee, and gradually climbed up the steep banks on either side.

Today the river flows through Cork city in two main channels, so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges. 

Some of the main streets are built over channels where ships nuzzled their anchor-chains ,from the 18th century . Along the South Mall, you will see large gateways at street level, under steps leading to a higher main door. These were once boathouses, when merchants arrived at their warehouses by water.

The area around Cork harbour was inhabited in prehistoric times and some artefacts, including axeheads, have been discovered in the environs of the city from that period.The earliest mention of the Cork Monastary is in the annals is for 682AD, when the death of Suibne, abbot of the monastery, was recorded. Many of these references are to attacks on the monastery by the Vikings.The houses would originally have been built of timber and roofed with thatch or timber shingles. The materials used for the floors would have been brushwood, wickerwork matting or gravel. Later, stone houses replaced the timber buildings.The Red Abbey, an Augustinian foundation, is the only surviving building from medieval Cork and it stood outside the walled city.




Shandon Church

It's  tower  dominates the north side of the city from its lofty hill-top position. Two sides of the tower are faced with red sandstone, two with white limestone (local stone) Its peal of eight bells, cast in Gloucester in 1750, have become famous, and you may play them yourself, from "music" cards supplied.  It has a clock on each face of the tower, and is known, locally, as the four faced liar, due to the fact that, in the past, none of the clocks displayed the same time. 

St. Finn Barre's 

One of Cork's two cathedrals, it is  a splendid triple-spired example of French-gothic architecture. It stands on the site where Finnbarr established his monastic school about 650 AD. Among its most striking features are the fine rose window, the mosaic pavements and the elaborate carving throughout.

Patrick's Bridge and River Lee


City Hall

Cork coat of arms, carved, found in the rubble of the City Hall, when it was burnt in 1920

Coat of arms, at entrance of the city

Beamish and Crawford brewery, established as the Cork Porter Company in 1792, lies in the heart of the old medieval city. The main part of the building (pictured) is known as the counting house.





The Old English Market

This market, was opened in 1610, was reorganized into the present style in 1786.    With openings off Princes St, Patrick St and the Grand Parade, this covered market has a variety of  food stalls, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables etc.,  standing side by side inside the premises.