Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 10 August 2017
Kieran’s Heritage Week Tours, 19-26 August 2017
National Heritage Week is upon us again at the end of next week (19 – 26 August). It is going to be a busy week. For my part I have organised seven tours. These are all free and I welcome any public support for the activities outlined below. There are also brochures detailing other events that can be picked up from Cork City Hall and City libraries. If you are up the country on holidays, check out www.heritageweek.ie for the listings of national events.
Saturday 19 August 2017 – Historical Walking Tour of Cork City Hall with Kieran, 11am, ticketed (free, duration: 75 minutes; details at www.corkheritageopenday.ie)
Learn about the early history of Cork City Hall and Cork City Council, learn about the development of the building and visit the Lord Mayor’s Room The current structure, replaced the old City Hall, which was destroyed in the ‘burning of Cork’ in 1920. It was designed by Architects Jones and Kelly and built by the Cork Company Sisks. The foundation stone was laid by Eamonn de Valera, President of the Executive Council of the State on 9 July 1932.
Sunday, 20 August 2017, Cork Through the Ages, An introduction to the historical development of Cork City with Kieran; meet at the National Monument, Grand Parade, 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
Cork City possesses a unique character derived from a combination of its plan, topography, built fabric and its location on the lowest crossing point of the river Lee as it meets the tidal estuary and the second largest natural harbour in the world. Indeed, it is also a city that is unique among other cities, it is the only one which has experienced all phases of Irish urban development, from circa 600 AD to the present day. This tour explores the city’s earliest historical phases.
Monday 21 August 2017, Blackpool: A Living Heritage, historical walking tour with Kieran; meet at the gates of North Mon School, Gerald Griffin Avenue, 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
The walking tour weaves its way from the North Mon into Blackpool, Shandon and Gurranbraher highlighting nineteenth century life in this corner of Cork from education to housing to politics, to religion, to industry and to social life itself. Blackpool was the scene of industry in Cork in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for industries such as tanning through big names such as Dunn’s Tannery and distilling through families such as the Hewitts. The leather industry at one vibrant in Blackpool with no fewer than 46 tanyards at work there in 1837 giving employment to over 700 hands and tanning on average 110,000 hides annually.
Tuesday 22 August 2017, The Victorian Quarter; historical walking tour with Kieran of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Wellington Road and McCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
This is a tour that brings the participant from the top of St Patrick’s Hill to the eastern end of McCurtain Street through Wellington Road. The tour will speak about the development of the Victorian Quarter and its hidden and beautiful architectural heritage. All are welcome and any old pictures and documents that people have of these areas, please bring along.
Thursday 24 August 2017, The City Workhouse, historical walking tour with Kieran; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
The Cork workhouse, which opened in December 1841, was an isolated place – built beyond the toll house and toll gates, which gave entry to the city and which stood just below the end of the wall of St. Finbarr’s Hospital in the vicinity of the junction of the Douglas and Ballinlough Roads. The Douglas Road workhouse was also one of the first of over 130 workhouses to be designed by the Poor Law Commissioners’ architect George Wilkinson.
Friday 25 August 2017, The Lough and its Curiosities; historical walking tour with Kieran; meet at green area at northern green of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough; 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
This new walking tour circles the Lough and explores the area’s origins and histories. In such a corner of the city, stories abound ranging from duels, ice-skating, market gardening, Victorian nurseries and legend making as well as housing and church sites.
Saturday 26 August 2017, Fitzgerald’s Park: The People’s Park; historical walking tour with Kieran, meet at band stand, 1pm, note the afternoon time (free, duration: two hours)
Looking at the physical landscape of the Park, there are clues to a forgotten and not so familiar past. The entrance pillars on the Mardyke, the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, the museum, the fountain in the middle of the central pond dedicated to Fr Mathew and timber posts eroding in the river were once parts of one of Cork’s greatest historical events, the Cork International Exhibitions of 1902 and 1903. Just like the magical spell of Fitzgerald’s Park, the Mardyke exhibitions were spaces of power. Revered, imagined and real spaces were created. They were marketing strategies where the past, present and future merged. The entire event was the mastermind of Cork Lord Mayor Edward Fitzgerald, after which the park got it name.
907a. Group on Kieran’s historical walking tour of Sunday’s Well (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
907b.Group on Kieran’s historical walking tour of the Lough (picture: Kieran McCarthy)