Tuesday, 16 November 2010



This morning - wasn't I lucky the way the weather turned out in the afternoon - I did the South Parish Walk, from Daunt’s Square, down along the Parade, into Tuckey Street, down South Main Street, into French’s Quay, around the Cathedral, back into Barrack Street and Elizabeth Fort, the Nano Nagle Grave, the Red Abbey, the Holy Trinity, the Assembly Rooms and the monuments at the Western End of the Grand Parade.

The start for this walk, and also for the Shandon Walk, is in Daunt's Square where an information panel (for both walks) is mounted. See photo. Leaflets are available from the tourist office in Grand Parade.

The Queen’s Old Castle, which now houses Argos and the Director’s Cut, is on one of the most historic and interesting sites in the city centre. Confusingly, it was originally the site of the King's Castle, one of the two fortresses guarding the entrance to the medieval port of Cork. The original Queen's Castle was further to the north near present-day Castle Street and Cornmarket Street. Both castles are shown on the Pacata Hibernia map of Cork from the late sixteenth century. (Most of above info from http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie )From Daunt’s Square, made my way down the Grand Parade, stopping first at the entrance to Bishop Lucey Park, opened in 1985 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Cork’s first city chapter.  The impressive gates here once formed the entrance to the old Corn Market that was on Anglesea Street to the rear of the City Hall. There is an information plaque here.

As I now head towards the junction with Tuckey Street, the Berwick Fountain catches the eye but you have to look for the “bollard” – see photo. It seems that this could well have been part of an old gun and may also have been used as a bollard to tie boats up when the parade was part of the waterways of the city (up to the 2nd half of the 18th century).

Into Tuckey Street now and the first building on your right is the Masonic Lodge. At the junction with South Main Street there is an interesting looking building in which the Oval Bar (right) operates. From some of the signs, it looks as if this was once a “tied” Beamish house
Which wouldn't be all that unusual considering that the neo-Tudor offices of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery (above) are opposite you on South Main Street. Turn left now for French’s Quay, named after a wine merchant and former mayor of the city. There is an information panel here and more or less opposite is medieavl Keyser’s Hill (Right)

On the right, you will see an arch in the river, a half bridge. When Proby's Quay was a waterway, this bridge served a useful purpose. You are now entering Bishop Street and the view is dominated by St Finn Barre's CathedralSt Finn Barre’s Cathedral 

In the streets around the cathedral (Info panel), there are quite a few buildings associated with it, including Carrigbarre House and the Choristers House (left). Having visited the cathedral, go into Dean Street and on entering Fort Street you see will the walls of Elizabeth Fort (info panel). Unfortunately, due to long drawn out unfinished restorations, you cannot get up on to the walls and take in the fine views over the city.

There are some restored buildings opposite the fort on Barrack Street and in the fort itself is a memorial plaque to General Daniel Florence O’Leary, born on the street and a South American hero for his part in fighting for independence from Spanish rule.

Now turn right into Evergreen Buildings and go past the old neat house and turn left into Industry Street from where you can see the rear of the former St Nicholas Church of Ireland standing on a site that has been occupied since the 12th century. The church, the third on the site (the first built in 1177), is now used by the Probation Services according to the panel at junction with Evergreen Street.

But you don't go up Evergreen. Instead you take the road down past South Presentation Convent, Abbey Street, which leads to Douglas Street. Three major figures of local history were associated with this area: the sculptor John Hogan, the Apostle of Temperance Fr Matthew and Nano Nagle whose well signposted tomb may be seen in the grounds of South Pres
Go down Mary Street and turn right into the Red Abbey area (info panel). Just one tower remains and it s the oldest piece of architecture in the city, dating to the 14th century. 

Now you walk to Dunbar Street to see the South Chapel, the oldest Catholic Church in Cork (1766). There is another info panel here on an outside wall and, inside, you will Hogan’s sculpture of the dead Christ. 

The church, built in penal times, went on to play a leading role in Catholic emancipation and twice was visited by Daniel O’Connell, the Great

Leaving the church you turn right down to the river and then right onto George’s Quay. If you wish, you may continue into South Terrace where the 1915 Synagogue stands. Then you walk over the Trinity pedestrian bridge to visit the Holy Trinity Church.

On Fr Matthew Street you will see Fr Matthew Hall (host to the annual Feis Mathiu) and just beyond a building that once housed a church for Scottish Presbyterians. Now you enter the South Mall, yet another of the city’s former waterways.

Turn left here and you soon come to No. 22 where the decorative frontage is all that remains of the old Assembly Rooms, opened in 1861 and a venue for all kinds of events and meetings and also the city’s first cinema.

War Mem.
At the western end of the Mall, there are two monuments. In the little park on the left stands the World War 1 memorial and just beyond is the much larger National Monument unveiled on St Patrick’s Day 1906 to commemorate the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848 and 1867. 

Hungry and thirsty now, you could do worse than head into the nearby English Market, opened in 1788 but still going strong and worth a visit even if it is just to have a look and listen, faces and accents from all over.

Information mainly from the South Parish booklet of the Cork Walks series (by Cork City Council) and also from the information panels on the walk. The other booklet so far is the Shandon Walk and both should be available in the Tourist Office on Grand Parade. Many of these photos are thumbnails and will not enlarge.
Panel at An Realt indicating its age and that the dukes of Wellington and Marlborough called here.
Presentation graveyard

Old City Wall Lucey Park

Houses (orig 1702)  restored

Nagle Tomb
Enterprise Bar

Nagle tomb

St Finn Barre's

Old City Wall in Lucey Park
Nano Nagle's tomb

Walkway but no walking allowed in Elizabeth Fort
The Oval, once a tied house
The weeds take over in South Pres

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