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Cork Gaol, County Cork, Ireland, January 2020

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HughieD

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1. The History
In 1806 an Act of Parliament was passed to allow the building of a new Cork City Gaol. It was designed to replace the old Gaol at the North Gate Bridge in the heart of the city. It was nearly 100 years old, on a confined site, overcrowded & unhygienic. This wonderful piece of Georgian/Gothic architecture was the work of Sir Thomas Deane, and from the outside, it looked more like a castle than a purpose-built prison

When it first opened in 1824 it was reported as being “the finest in 3 kingdoms”. Housing both male and female prisoners who committed crimes within the city boundary, anyone committing crime outside of the city boundary was sent to the County Gaol, located on the grounds of what is now UCC.

Map of the site:

49347859941_67c3419a65_b.jpgDerelict Ireland Miscil 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

In the 1870s a number of changes occurred in the Gaol. The West Wing was remodelled into a brighter, more spacious double-sided cell wing. The Gaol also became “a place of confinement for females only”. Half a century later, in 1923, all prisoners were removed, and the doors of the Gaol never again closed on the freedom of any man, woman or child.

The Gaol was only left idle for a few years. However, in 1927, Radio Eireann began to broadcast Corks’ first radio station, 6CK, from the centre of the main building. The Gaol was used as a broadcasting station up until the end of the 1950s, when the complex was allowed to become totally derelict until its innovative partial restoration and reopening to the public as a visitor attraction in 1993.

2. The Explore
Headed up this way not for here but the infamous Good Shepherd Convent. When this turned out to be palisaded up to the nines and live secca on site (shame as it looked ace) decided to go tourist and visit the gaol museum next to it. To my pleasant surprise, most of the gaol is still derelict so managed to sneak round a couple of bits that weren’t open to the public. The museum bit itself is great but get the abandoned wings are really good. Shame I could only get into the hospital and debtor’s prison. They were just shells but were quite photogenic all the same.

3. The Pictures

Both these wings are in “managed abandonment” according to one of the ladies that worked at the museum. The bit in the middle, the church has been resorted and is part of the exhibition

49348055627_d87c5a31b1_b.jpgimg5210 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This wing was also ‘abandoned’ but no way in, sadly:
49347845646_47f76c16e1_b.jpgimg5221 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49347835201_890a9c764a_b.jpgimg5234 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking out to the hospital from the museum:

49347371643_ddac2cf21a_b.jpgimg5243 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The debtor’s prison. Pretty far gone by all accounts:

49347385638_076607ceb7_b.jpgimg5211 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49348054182_e74ba13527_b.jpgimg5216 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49347846731_5ac3dbe6b7_b.jpgimg5219 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49347844701_a341b68369_b.jpgimg5222 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The Hospital:

49347836386_6c44616840_b.jpgimg5233 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we’re in:

49347375163_dd8a765436_b.jpgimg5231 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49347839171_883437b337_b.jpgimg5229 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49348047307_fac4712405_b.jpgimg5228 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49348048507_c8381cea52_b.jpgimg5225 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49347843136_e646d8600b_b.jpgimg5224 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

Hugh Jorgan

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A nice set of photos. I had a giggle when you say that you couldn't get into a jail. Best to keep out of them. In your description the word "resorted" should be "restored", maybe a slight slip of the keyboard buttons.
 

HughieD

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