While visiting Cork, Ireland, our wonderful taxi driver took us to stee the Cork City Gaol (Jail). This is part 1 of 6 of this photo collection.
The former Cork City Gaol (Jail) in Cork, Ireland
My two best friends and I were touring northern Europe in June of 2019. When we reached Cork, Ireland, we engaged a taxi driver to give us a tour.
He first tried to take us to the Blarney Castle. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a two-hour wait before we could get inside. Seeing our disappointment, he suggested this amazing place. As you will soon see, from the outside, it looked a lot more like a castle than a prison.
That's my best friend Carrie, by the way.
After paying the reasonable admission fee, we were each issued an Inmate number. This was mine. Lol!
Here are some more photos of the outside of the Jail (Gaol).
Governor’s Garden – Gaol Architecture
You are standing in the Governor’s Garden, believed to have been completed towards the turn of the 16th century. It was maintained by prisoners as part of their daily chores and the original large fir trees still stand.
The garden sits in front of the Governor’s House at the center of Cork City Gaol. The view of the beautiful Georgian Gothic architecture at the top of the steps just beyond the gatehouse was no consolation to prisoners being escorted through the garden to meet the governor inside the main door.
Designed by renowned Cork architect Sir Thomas Deane, the goal was constructed between 1818 and 1824. The classically proportioned stonework is often likened to that of a castle with turreted battlements and each of the six main cell wings finished with turreted circular towers.
The Governor’s House at the center of the goal is flanked by two three-story circular drum galleries linking into the cell wings. The wings are all single sided except for the western wing which was remodeled in the 1870s into a bigger double-sided wing. An infirmary is located towards the back of the goal and a debtor’s goal can be found on the north-eastern corner of the site. The entire goal area is walked off with entry points located at the front gatehouse.
You will see a set of stocks placed on the lawn. These were used as a disciplinary measure. By order of the governor, inmates would have their feet locked inside the holes of the stocks where they sat uncomfortably for a period of time.
The pillory was a punishment devise widely used during the 18th century. Holes for neck and wrists were positioned between two boards which, when closed, rendered the person helplessly trapped. The boards were then locked together for a set period of time and the unfortunate victim was left to stand uncomfortably for the duration of their punishment. The time spent locked in a pillory generally ranged from an hour to a day.
Pillories were often erected in public places in order to shame and humiliate the victim while acting as a deterrent to would-be criminals. Crowds that gathered often threw objects such as rotten vegetables, feces and dead animals. Sometimes heavy object such as stones were thrown and could result in injury or even death. For this reason the use of pillories gradually fell out of fashion and by the 19th century they were no longer used in public places.
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One of the first sites we saw upon entering the building was this pairing. It was labeled as "Mary Sullivan."
This was the nearby hallway and staircase.
To the right of the entrance was the Governor's Office.
If I recall correctly, this was to be seen once we mounted the staircase.
As you can see, this is the area where many of the prison cells were located. We were able to view inside several of them to see vignettes of past prisoners and the conditions they faced.
Please visit part 2 of this blog to see those photos.
Until then, best wishes to you, and have a wonderful day!
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Please visit these other blog posts about the Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland. Here are the links. They will each open up in a new window.
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 1 of 6
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 2 of 6
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 3 of 6
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 4 of 6 COMING SOON
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 5 of 6 COMING SOON
- Cork City Gaol in Cork, Ireland - Part 6 of 6 COMING SOON