Blackrock Historical Walking Tour, 13 May 2012

Group, Blackrock historical walking tour with Kieran McCarthy, 13 May 2012

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the first outing of the Blackrock Village historical walking tour.


Did you know? Some interesting insights into Blackrock History:

·         The Galway family marked their presence in Blackrock by constructing Dundanion Castle, a tower house, which was built circa 1564 and lived in by various occupants until 1832. Blackrock Castle was built circa 1582 by the citizens of Cork with artillery to resist pirates and other invaders.


·         By ancient priviledge and jurisdiction, under various charters granted many centuries ago, the Mayor of Cork, as well as the mayors of other cities, including Limerick and Waterford, enjoyed Admiralty jurisdiction to the mouth of their respective harbour.


·         Samuel Lewis, 1837: “The scenery is of the most varied and pleasing character, exhibiting numerous elegant villas and cottages, with lawns, gardens, and plantations reaching down to the margin of the Lee, which is here a noble expanse of water more than a mile broad, constantly enlivened by steam-boats and other vessels”.


·         The Seat of the Chatterton family, occupied by Sir James Chatterton in 1814 and Sir William in 1837 and at the time of Griffith’s Valuation when it was valued at £47. The building now houses a youth centre run by the Redemptorist Order.


·         Blackrock Coastguard was one of 56 Coastguard stations in Co. Cork.


·         The Hot and Cold Salt Water Baths was operated initially by Michael O’Brien of Tuckey Street, who lit his shop with gas on Tuckey Street. It was Advertised as early as 1803. The fee for a single person was 1/- but four persons could have a bath and a car for 5/6 to and from Blackrock and Cork City.


·         A report on the “Physical and Moral Condition of the Working Classes in the Parish of St Michael Blackrock near Cork” was read by North Ludlow Beamish FRS, President of the Cork Scientific and Literary Society before the Statistical Section of the British Association at Cork August 1843.


·         In Beamish’s Report, Blackrock village had 557 families; Ninety families were living in one room to each family, 260 in two rooms and 207 in three or more rooms to each family, the average number of persons to a bed three.


·         The men of the sea, Coughlans, O’Learys, Kidneys, John Cashman, Buckleys, Norbergs, Deleas and Ahernes, were all outstanding hurlers. The Coughlans were skilled salmon fishers in the Lee Estuary and owned five or six oar boots specially built for river work When they weren’t hurling they rowed with Blackrock Boat Club.


·         Prior to the foundation of the County Board in 1886. A committee organised a competition called the Challenge cup. Twelve teams took part in what was to become the forerunner to the present day County Championship. Blackrock was known as the Cork Nationals in those days, first recorded competitive match in this competition was a semi-final against Macroom.


·         On 25 March, 1899 a bunch of young men, all of them members of Dolphin Swimming Club, took the decision to form a Rowing Club. They even decided on the club colours Chocolate and White. The Cork Boat Club was founded.


·         On Wednesday September 28th 1960, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto on Blackrock Pier was officially opened and blessed by Rev Fr Aherne, ably assisted by Fr Cummins and Fr Crowley. It took two and half years from start to finish and one hundred and five meetings were held by the committee in the Blackrock Rowing Club during this time.


·         Samuel Lewis, 1837: “The R. C. chapel, erected in 1821, is a large and handsome building, and is a chapel of ease to the parochial chapel of St. Finbarr, or the South chapel: it was begun at the private expense of the late Dean Collins, aided by a subscription of £300, and was complete and elegantly fitted up by means of a bequest of £1100 from the late T. Rochford, Esq., of Garretstown, part of which, in 1834, was expended in the erection of a house for the officiating priest near the chapel.”


·         Thomas Deane of Dundanion House was to the forefront of the development of the arts and sciences in his native city. He served on Cork Corporation for many years. He was Mayor of Cork in 1815, 1830 and 1851, and was knighted in 1830.


·         The Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway line opened for public service on Saturday 8 June 1850. The traffic was enormous over the first weekend. 6,000 people were carried on the Sunday.  One train carried 460 people.


·         Samuel Lewis. 1837: The church, dedicated to St. Michael, serves as a chapel of ease to the cathedral church of St. Finbarr, Cork, and was built in 1827, at an expense of £2100, of which £900 was given by the late Board of First Fruits, £100 by the corporation of Cork, and the remainder, with the exception of a few local subscriptions and the sale of pews, was defrayed by the dean and chapter, who appoint and pay the curate.