Cork City Gaol

Cork is a city with a rich historical and archaeological heritage, much of which is still in evidence today. Part of this heritage, Cork City Gaol is located 2km North West from Patrick’s Street and while the magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners.

Visitors to the gaol will get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the state.

The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures, while original graffiti on cell walls tell the innermost feelings of some inmates. A spectacular audio visual show tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of the 19th century Cork and why some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and is available in up to 13 languages.


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