Last Updated: 30th March, 2019
Cork Museum located in a Georgian building, built in 1845 and purchased from the Duke of Devonshire by the Beamish Family, and then purchased by Cork Corporation in 1901. Cork Public Museum places a particular emphasis on the trades and crafts of Cork, including a fine collection of Republican silver, pottery items and old Cork memorabilia.
Cork Museum is located in the beautiful Fitzgerald's Park with the 'Shaky Bridge' on one side and the new Mardyke Walk Bridge on the other side, both pedestrian bridges.
The collections at Cork Museum includes Ireland’s oldest Pick and Shovel, discovered in a Bronze Age copper mine in Mount Gabriel. Cork Museum has an illuminated address presented to Parnell by the Corporation of Cork and the Cobh Famine Relief Book. There is also have a selection of objects from the classical world of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome on display.
The Museum was extended in 2005 providing purpose built conditions in that section for some collections. The Museum also have an exhibition devoted to the Cork International Exhibition, Cork sport, including a Roy Keane Manchester United UEFA Cup Jersey and singlet belonging to Sonia O’Sullivan. Our new costume case displays a Regency dress, 19th century wedding dress, Huguenot costume as well as Hooded Cloaks from West Cork. Various accessories such as a fan, a dressing case and hand made shoes are also on display.
The Cork Butter Museum gives the history of the butter trade & development of Cork Butter Exchange. Located in the historic Shandon area of Cork City, the story begins with the central role of dairy culture in the Island of Saints and Scholars. The Museum goes on to describe the internationally important Butter Exchange in nineteenth century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand. Beginning with the origins of dairying in Ireland, this gallery display deals with the Irish practice of preserving butter in bogs, the importance of milch cows in medieval Ireland and cattle raiding. In the course of this story, the commercial, social, and domestic life of Ireland is recalled. The Cork Butter Museum deals with the development of the Cork Butter Exchange, Cork’s international trade in butter, which became the largest butter market in the world.
The Michael Collins Centre, located at Castleview, Clonakilty, West Cork displays an audio/ visual of Michael Collins (the Big Fella’s) childhood, his family history, his school days and the important Collins’ sites around Clonakilty. A guide then continues the presentation, using slides, large photographs or film clips, the visitor is taken through the 1916 rebellion, War of Independence, Treaty talks and the Civil War. The tragic death of Michael Collins at Beal Na Blath and his Legacy are also discussed. The presentation ends with a guided tour of the ambush trail, a life size replica of an ambush site complete with Crossley Tender and replica of Michael Collins, famous Rolls Royce Armoured Car, “Sliabh Na mBan”. Here the events at Beal na Blath and the history of the vehicles in the Collins convoy are explained in more detail. Visitors can then return to the Cottage/ Theatre to view the exhibition of photographs, documents and militaria.
Allihies Copper Mine Museum - The objective of the museum is to recognise, research, preserve and celebrate the rich mining heritage of Allihies. The museum achieves this through the display of artefacts, the use of photographs, illustrations, original drawings and documents, diagrams and maps, as well as a number of key large-scale models together with text panels. The location of the museum is a key factor being the Methodist chapel built in 1845 for the Cornish miners working in the mines.The Mountain Mine copper vein in Allihies, was discovered in 1813. It started as an open cast mine, following the copper bearing quartz vein, as can be seen in the huge gaping holes.The Copper Café onsite commands views over the sandy beach at Ballydonegan. The beach is in fact a by-product of the 19th century mining industry, being the crushed quartz resulting from the ore extraction process, washed down and deposited on the shore.
Bantry House in West Cork is a very historic house contains an important collection of tapestries, paintings, furniture and artefacts. Bantry House is the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, still lived in by their descendant Egerton & Brigitte Shelswell-White, and their family. About 1820 Richard, the first Earl of Bantry, enlarged the house by adding the two drawing rooms.
It was his son, then Viscount Berehaven, who travelled extensively and amassed an eclectic collection of items. Lord Bantry’s outstanding contribution, however, was unquestionably the collection of tapestries that adorn the walls of several of the rooms. With the exception of a set, 17th Century Dutch in origin, the panels are French having come from the workshops of Gobelins, Beauvais and Aubusson in the late 18th Century. One Gobelins panel is said to have hung in the Palace of Versailles and there is a particularly beautiful rose-coloured set of Aubusson which is said to have been made by order of Louis XV for Marie Antoinette on her marriage to the Dauphin of France.
Two other panels formed part of the Royal Garde Meuble of the Tuileries. Undoubtedly the oldest item is some tiling from Pompeii bearing the inscriptions Cave Canem and Salve. Italy of much later times is represented by stained glass, ceiling paintings from a Venetian Palace, and plaster-work executed by Italian craftsmen said to have been brought to Bantry expressly for the purpose
Ceim Hill Museum is a 500 year old farm house with an open hearth near Union Hall, West Cork. This private collection housed here has artefacts from Neolithic times, Old and New Stone Age, Bronze and Iron Ages. The visitor can see old farm tools as well as lace, linen and West Cork cloaks. For history enthusiasts there is a "War of Independence" room. The curator will also share her knowledge of the early history of the area.
Camden Fort Meagher Crosshaven is a classic example of a coastal artillery fort. With lots of exhibitions and billets containing military and lots of other memorabilia of interest it is a great value family day out. Groups and School tours welcome. With 65% of the Fort underground there is lots to explore. Stunning views over Cork Harbour and relax in the harbourside deck area for refreshments afterwards. Only 30 minutes drive from Cork City and there is also a regular bus service Number 220 bus from Cork city.
Desmond Castle, (French Prison) Cork Street, Kinsale, built as a custom house by the Earl of Desmond c. AD 1500. Desmond Castle has had a colourful history, ranging from Spanish occupation in 1601 to use as a prison for captured American sailors during the American War of Independence. Known locally as 'The French Prison' after a tragic fire in which 54 prisoners, mainly French seamen, died in 1747. The castle was also used as a borough jail from 1791 to the onset of the Great Famine when it was used as an auxiliary workhouse tending to the starving populace.
Over the main entrance to the castle you may see the Geraldine arms, bees on a quartered shield, while high above is displayed a mirror image of the royal arms. The well constructed building, founded on rock, consists of a keep with storehouses to the rear. The former is a fine example of a town castle with domestic offices on the first and second floors. A variety of window forms, beneath the Irish stepped battlements, add interest to the main facade
Kinsale Regional Museum in the town centre of Kinsale was built about 1600, with additions in 1706 that included the frontage with the loggia on the ground floor. The courthouse was used for the inquest into the sinking of the liner Lusitania on Monday May 10th 1915. It was in this building that the Kinsale Town Corporation conducted their affairs and the Courthouse was also used for ceremonial occasions in the 18th century. The Museum in the Courthouse has many interesting items on display which includes a display on the famous Kinsale Giant. He was Patrick Cotter O'Brien. He died in 1806 and is believed to have been over 8 foot tall. The Museum also houses the largest collection of maritime artefacts in Ireland
West Cork Regional Museum pays tribute to Clonakilty's industrial past, especially its linen industry
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