Cork City Gaol

cork city gaol

Cork City Gaol is a beautifully restored attraction in Cork, just 2km from Patrick Street, that once housed 19th Century prisoners. Enter through the Gaol gates to a small courtyard and up the steps surrounded by high walls to see the gaol building.The cells are visible from the outside, moulded into the high walls complete with the original jail cell bars which are still intact. It invokes a solemn feeling as the daunting grey walls hold a vast history of lives and secrets of the people who once passed through this place.

Take a tour of the building to absorb the athmosphere and meet a host of interesting still life characters along the way.  We recommend you take the audio tour – it is well worth the few euro to have your own headset audio guide – it’s a wonderful accompaniment on your journey through the corridors and cells of the restored Cork City Gaol and gives an indepth explanation and insight to many individuals and their ‘crimes’.  Every cell has a unique story about a person who was incarcerated there. Some were short sentences, others were longer but all are interesting to hear. It’s even more real to be able to close oneself into a cell for a first hand experience of the limited space and conditions that men, women and even children endured many years ago.

Look out for original graffiti from prisoners who voiced their feeling and opinion, never knowing that one day, we as visitors would be reading their comments. It’s fascinating stuff!

There are life size characters throughout the gaol, beautifully crafted and in authentic dress and uniforms of the day which add real depth to the experience. One of the rooms holds a display outlining the daily schedule and the diet of prisoners – how different this time and place was. One wonders what became of the many people who were once lodgers here and what lives they went on to live? Many would return to the gaol again, knowing noting else but a way of live that was without opportunity or escape. This is history!

Highly recommended on your next day out in Cork!

Visiting Cork City Gaol

Open 7 days a week, all year round

Oct – Mar

10.00am – 16.00pm

Apr – Sep

9.30am – 17.00pm


Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well, Cork City,

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