Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Visit to The South Parish of Cork City

Members of the Cork Chapter braved cold conditions to tour buildings in the South Parish of Cork city on 24th November 2012.  The group, led by Dr. Alicia St. Leger, met at the Anglesea Road side of Cork City Hall, built in 1936  to the design of the Dublin architectural firm of Jones and Kelly.  Just across the road is the distinctive former Model School, designed by James Owen and first opened in 1865.  It was divided into boys, girls and infants divisions.  It also had a maritime school and the campanile was used to observe shipping in the harbour.  It was recently restored and is now Cork District Court House.

The group then walked to Newenham Terrace, noting en route the attractive architecture of Saint Joachim and Anne’s Home, built in 1860 to the design of Cork architect Henry Hill.  Newenham Terrace was constructed about the same date and members were delighted to see the interior of a recently restored house in the terrace.  The house has been modernised using best conservation standards and a warm welcome was given to the group.

Back in the cold outdoors, the group next visited St. FinBarr’s South Chapel in Dunbar Street.  Known affectionately as the ‘South Chapel’, it was built in 1766 and is an interesting example of an early pre-Emancipation chapel.  The best known feature of the church today is the carving of the ‘Dead Christ’ by renowned sculptor John Hogan (1800-1858).  Hogan lived for a time in nearby Cove Street.  Not far away is the South Presentation Convent, founded in 1776, where the group was given a fascinating tour of the buildings by Sr. Rosario.  The convent on Douglas Street is where Nano Nagle began her schools for the education of the poor and she is buried in the nuns’ graveyard there.

The tour concluded at the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Meeting House, built in 1938 to the design of William Henry Hill.  The simple building replaced an earlier meeting house on Grattan Street in the city centre.  Members of the group received wonderful hospitality at the Meeting House and enjoyed good food prepared by Myrtle Allen and Geraldine O’Riordan.

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