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Cork (City), Ireland

Originally a monastic settlement, Cork was expanded by Viking invaders around 915. Its charter was granted by Prince John, as Lord of Ireland, in 1185. Cork city was once fully walled, and the remnants of the old medieval town centre can be found around South and North Main streets. 
Cork was reputedly founded by Saint Finbarr in the 6th century.

Cork achieved an urban character at some point between 915 and 922 when Norseman (Viking) settlers founded a trading port. 

The 3rd largest city by population on the Island of Ireland., the city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital", a reference to its opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the Irish Civil War.

It has been proposed that, like Dublin, Cork was an important trading centre in the global Scandinavian trade network. The ecclesiastical settlement continued alongside the Vikings with the two developing a type of symbiotic relationship; the Norsemen providing otherwise unobtainable trade goods for the monastery, and perhaps also military aid.
We enjoyed our short visit to this city. It has a good "vibe". 

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral

Christian use of the site dates back to a 7th-century AD monastery, which according to legend was founded by Finbarr of Cork. 

The original building survived until the 12th century, by when it had either fallen into disuse or been destroyed by the Normans. 

Around 1536, during the Protestant Reformation, the cathedral became part of the established church. later known as the Church of Ireland. 


The previous building was constructed in the 1730s, but was widely regarded as plain and featureless.


The cathedral's demolition and rebuild was commissioned in the mid-19th century by an Anglican church intent on strengthening its hand after the reforms of penal law. 


The cathedral was consecrated in 1870 and the limestone spires completed by October 1879.


Fun fact: St Fin Barre was named because of his blonde hair- Fin Barre means "fair crest".

Entrance to Bishop Lucey Park 

The site of Bishop Lucey Park lies within the site of the original Hiberno-Norse settlement of Cork. A portion of the old city wall was excavated during the park construction and is visible near the Grand Parade entrance to the park.

The Onion Seller.

(1985)


Seamus Murphy

The phrase 'the walled city of Cork' conjures up the familiar picture of the old city centre of Cork between the North Gate and South Gate bridges surrounded by a permanent, unbroken wall. 


The actual history of the building of the walls is more complicated than this. The south island, the area known in medieval times as the civitas, was the first section of the city to be fortified by the Normans. 


Archaeologists think that the south island was enclosed by the early thirteenth century. The wall around the south island was composed mainly of limestone. The north island, Dungarvan, was not entirely enclosed until the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The wall around the north island was composed mainly of sandstone.

The purpose of the walls was, of course, defensive. Cork could have been regarded as a Norman frontier town surrounded by a potentially, and often actually, hostile native population. With the advent of artillery, town walls became redundant as defensive structures. 


The siege of Cork by Marlborough in 1690, when extensive use was made of artillery, effectively spelt the end of the defensive role of the walls of Cork. 


They were allowed to fall into disrepair and sections of them were demolished. Houses were built using the remains of the town walls as foundations - a humble, but practical, use for the once proud walls of Cork.


A section of the city wall is visible in present-day Bishop Lucey Park.


The English Market has been around since 1788. Far from being English (it’s named for its Protestant origins), this is the place to pick up traditional specialities like drisheen and pigs’ trotters, although the 55 or so stalls also stock bread, fish, cheese and fruit and veg. 

The market has survived fire, civil war and an attempted name change, but it took a failed bid to replace it with a car park in the 1980s for the people of Cork to see that their culinary capital was worth saving!

Huguenot Cemetery was created between 1710 and 1733 as a cemetery for the Huguenot inhabitants in the city of Cork It is believed to be one of the last two surviving Huguenot graveyards in western Europe.\


About 5,000 Huguenots came to Ireland during the time when they were fleeing religious persecution, following the revocation of the  Edict of Nantes in their native France. Hundreds of these refugees settled in Cork. 

William Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948-14 June 1995) was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer. 

Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and brought up in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste during the late 1960s. 

His albums have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.


Gallagher received a liver transplant in 1995, but died of complications later that year in London at the age of 47.