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Bradshaw’s Guide

Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress


A city, port, and capital of county Cork, and Munster province, on the river Lee. The rail reaches the town by a tunnel half a mile long. It has a population of about 86,485, engaged in the glass, cutlery, and glove manufactories, and returns two members. Its splendid naval harbour is 11 miles lower down. Cork is not older than the year 600, when an abbey was founded on a low island in the Lee, where most of the city now stands. From the surrounding marshes it derives its name (Coreagh). A long street or walk, called the Mardyke, crosses the island, which is united to both banks of the stream by nine bridges, the best of which is the Anglesea iron bridge. The suburbs to the north and south stand higher; on the south bank is the new City Park of 240 acres, near the Bandon Railway. As might be expected, it suffers when the floods come down. The houses are built of stone, either thatched or slated, with many narrow, dirty streets, and but few remarkable public buildings. St. Finbarr’s Cathedral is modern except the tower which belonged to the old one. On the site of Gill Abbey is the new Queen’s College, a handsome quadrangular Gothic pile by Sir T. Deane, opened in 1849, when the Queen visited the town; her statue is here. There was a castle where the Court House stands. A large Lunatic Asylum, for the county, on Shannock Hill. The Botanic Garden is now a public Cemetery, established by Father Mathew, the Capuchin friar, who began his first temperance society here, in 1838. Besides savings banks and loan funds, there is a Mont de pieté, a pawnshop conducted on an economical principle for the benefit of the poor, imitated from those on the continent. There fire large barracks on the hill above the town. A Museum at the Cork Institute, founded in 1807, and a good proportion of benevolent institutions for both creeds.

Cork is not a large seat of manufactures; a little glass, with some good cutlery and beer, are the chief products. Also Limerick gloves, so delicate as to be sold packed in a walnut shell. But there is a large export trade (to the value of £3,000,000) in grain, cattle, whisky, provisions, and especially country butter. About 400,000 firkins of the last went to market in 1850; it is duly classified and branded by a committee, and the prices fixed beforehand every market day.

Maclise and Barry the painters, Sheridan Knowles the dramatist, Dr. Maginn, one of the first editors of Fraser’s Magazine, the Eight Hon. J. W. Croker, of the Quarterly, Murphy, the Spanish traveller, General O’Leary, Miss Thomson (the Emperor Muly Mahomet’s wife), Wood the antiquary, Milliken, Hogan, and Hastie, the Madagascar traveller, were natives.

The Lee, above Cork, may be ascended past Inniscarra and Macroom Castle, to the solitary lakes of Allua and Gongane Barra, and the Shahy Mountains, which are 1,796 feet high; thence over Priest Leap Pass to Glengariff, a distance of about 50 miles. The river is fined with granite quays, (inaccessible at low water), at which large vessels can unload; but the general place for unloading is at Passage, lower down, to which there is a railway of eight miles; but the descent should be made by boat to enjoy the beautiful views of the hills and country seats on both sides, and Blackrock and Monkstown Castles. The noble harbour, surrounded by hills on all sides, is five miles long, inclusive of the islands in it, having room and water enough for hundreds of vessels of any size. In war time 400 sail have left under convoy in one day. From this port Raleigh started on his last voyage (1617) to Guiana; and the Sirius, Captain Roberts, the second steamer to cross the Atlantic, left on the 1st June, 1838, reaching New York in 17 days. Queenstown (formerly Cove), is situated on a steep terrace, on Great Island, with its yacht club and pretty bathing rooms. It is a soft, sheltered spot for invalids. Here Wolfe, the author of “Not a drum was heard,” died of consumption. There is a convict depot on Spike Island; and an ordnance depôt at Haulbowline Island. Forts and old castles are perched on the highest points of ground. From the sea the appearance of the entrance, at first, is rather gloomy and disappointing.

All the scenery of this fine county is of a striking character, whether inland or along the coast. Cloyne (15 miles) with its Cathedral, Round Tower, and Druid Stone; Castlemartyr Castle, near Lord Shannon’s seat; Youghal (28 miles), on the coast, where is shown Raleigh’s house and his myrtles, and the fine remains of a Collegiate Church; Mourne Abbey (13 miles), under the Nagle Mountains.

Tariff of Car rates, per mile: — 

Within city limits Without
For a drive of not over 20 miles 0s. 9d. 1s. 0d.
For a drive of over 20 and under 40 1s. 3d. 1s. 6d.
For a drive of over 40 and under 60 1s. 6d. 1s. 9d.
Every half-hour after first hour 0s. 9d. 1s. 0d.

For returning the same road as driven — if not kept waiting beyond half-an-hour — half the above rates; if detained beyond the half-hour, 1s. to be paid for a one-horse covered carriage; for a jaunting car, 6d. for each hour detained, and half fare back. If it is intended to hire the vehicle by time, intimation of such must be given to the driver prior to the engagement. After 12 at night the fares are doubled.

Tariff of Jaunting Cars: — Four-wheel carriage, 1s. 3d. per mile; two-wheel, 9d. per mile. To Blackrock Castle, 1s. 9d. to 2s. 3d.; to Blarney, 2s. 9d to 3s. 3d.; to Glamnire, 2s. 3d. to 3s. 3d.; to Queenstown, 5s. 9d. to 7s. 3d.; to Passage, 2s. 9d. to4s. 3d.; to Queen’s College, 1s. to 1s. 6d., driver included. Tariff doubled after 12 at night.

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Places nearby

  • County Cork : Mallow

    This place contains a population of about 9,975, who return one member, and are engaged in the tan and saltworks.