Monday, February 28, 2011

Cork Chapter Visit to Cobh County Cork

The last Saturday of October 2010, turned out to be one of those cherished mellow autumn days that set the scene for the Cork Chapter's Cobh autumn outing. The town of Cobh is spoilt for choice when it comes to assembling an itinerary for a visit. But Dr. Alicia St. Leger selected wisely when she chose three places of interest for the Chapter's trip. As our group was gathering to register on that autumn morning, one could not but be impressed by the magnificence of the location occupied by our first building, Cobh Museum. Sitting, as it does on a hill, overlooking the harbour, it is the perfect place to get a sense of the importance of the town of Cobh as an outstanding place to visit.

Alicia St. Leger gave a most interesting short talk on Cobh Museum. It was built in 1854 as a Presbyterian Church in the Gothic style of architecture. It was known locally then, as the Scots Church. Today, it houses articles of interest reflecting the cultural, social and maritime history of Cobh and the Great Island.

The second part of our visit led our group downhill to the town proper and to the Sirius Arts Centre. This Victorian structure was given life in 1854 as a clubhouse for the Royal Cork Yacht Club. A status occupied until 1966 when the yacht club moved across the harbour to Crosshaven. In 1988, the vacant clubhouse in Cobh was given another lease of life to serve as an arts centre. Today, the building continues to provide unparalled views of the harbour.

Having realised two elements of our itinerary, our party was ready to enjoy a fine lunch in Pearse Square. Fortified, we then made our way to get to the third and final part of our itinerary, the monumental St. Colman's Cathedral. Here we had plenty of time to relax and take full advantage of a fascinating tour led by Ms. Ann Wilson who generously plied us with local stories. Ann Wilson was passionate in her outline of detail as she pointed out the highly elaborate intricate detail of both the interior and exterior of this internationally renowned masterpiece. St. Colman's was designed by E.W. Pugin and G.C. Ashlin in 1868. Our appreciation was conveyed to our hosts for the day and to Dr. Alicia St. Leger for planning and oganising a splendidly varied Cobh visit for the Cork Chapter.

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