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flag  History of County Cork, Ireland

Journey back in time to County Cork, Ireland

Visit County Cork, Ireland. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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 County Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle

County Cork is located along the southern coast in the province of Munster. It is the largest county, encompassing 2880 square miles. The distance from Youghal to Crow Head is 102 miles, greatest length in the county. The name Cork comes from the Gaelic word Corcaigh, meaning "marsh". The major towns are Bandon, Cobh, Cork, Fermoy, Kinsale, Mallow, Skibbereen, and Youghal.

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There is MUCH more to discover about County Cork, Ireland. Read on!

County Cork Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Blarney Castle
County Cork, Ireland

Postcard
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Blarney Castle
Youghal Harbour
County Cork, Ireland

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Youghal Harbour
St Patrick's Bridge, Cork
County Cork, Ireland

Postcard
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St Patrick's Bridge, Cork

Discover County Cork: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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In 1603, the citizens of Cork along with Waterford and Limerick rebelled, expelling Protestant ministers, imprisoning English officials, seizing the municipal arsenals and demanding freedom of worship for Catholics.

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In 1641, Ireland was convulsed by the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Cork became a stronghold for the English Protestants,
who sought refuge there after the outbreak of the rebellion and remained in Protestant hands throughout the ensuing Irish Confederate Wars. An ineffective Irish Confederate attempt to take the city in 1642 was beaten off at the battle of Liscarroll. In 1644, Murrough O'Brien, Earl Inchiquinn, the commander of English forces in Cork, expelled the Catholic townsmen from the city. Although most of them went no further than the city's suburbs, this was the beginning of Protestant domination of the city that would last for nearly two centuries. The population of Cork by this times was around 5000, most of whom lived outside the city walls.
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In 1649–53, Ireland was re-conquered by an English Parliamentarian army under Oliver Cromwell. Inchiquin had briefly led Cork into an alliance with the Confederates,
in 1648, but the garrison changed sides again in 1650, going over to English Parliamentarian side under the influence of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery.
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In 1690 during the Williamite war in Ireland, Cork was besieged and taken for the Williamites by an English army under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

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In the late 17th and early 18th centuries French Protestants (Huguenots) arrived in Cork fleeing from religious persecution at the hands of Louis XIV of France.

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1726 - Christ Church is built in Cork

1750 - The Buttermarket is built in Cork

1806 - Parliament Bridge is built in Cork

In 1825, over 1,800 Irish residents departed from Cork to emigrate to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada assisted by Peter Robinson (who organised the scheme on behalf of the British Government).
This resulted in the area known as "Scott's Plains" being renamed "Peterborough" as a tribute.
wikipedia.org
1825 - Cork gains gas light

1835 - The Court house is built in Cork

1837 - County Cork
CORK (County of), a maritime county of the province of MUNSTER, and the largest in Ireland, bounded on the east by the counties of Tipperary and Waterford, on the north by that of Limerick, on the west by that of Kerry, and on the south-west, south, and south-east by St. George's Channel: it extends from 51° 12' to 52° 13' (N. Lat.), and from 9° 45' to 10° 3' (W. Lon.); and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 1,725,100 statute acres, of which 1,024,340 are cultivated, and 700,760 are occupied by mountains, bogs, &c. The population, in 1821, was 629,786, and in 1831, 700,359, of which latter number, 407,935 were in the East, and 292,424 in the West, Riding.

The earliest inhabitants of the south-western part of this extensive territory are designated by Ptolemy Uterni or Uterini, and by other writers Iberni, Iberi, and Juerni. They occupied most of the southern part of the country subsequently called Desmond: their name and situation prove them to have... Read MORE...

Cork and also nearby Cobh became major points of departure for Irish emigrants, who left the country in great numbers after the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s.

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1849 - The railway reaches Cork. University College opens.

1877 - The first fire brigade in Cork is formed.

1895 - County Cork
Cork, the most southerly and largest county of Ireland, in Munster, bounded on the N. by Limerick, N.E. by Tipperary, E. by Waterford, and on the other sides by the At antic Ocean. Area, 2885 square miles. The surface is mountainous in the W. Old red sandstone and mountain limestone are the predominant rocks, with some seams of coal. The coast is deeply indented by some of the finest bays and harbors in the world, the principal being Bantry and Dunmanus Bays, and Clonakilty, Kinsale, Cork, and Youghal harbors. The principal rivers are the Blackwater, Lee, and Bandon. Small lakes are numerous, and in many parts the scenery is highly picturesque. The mineral products include lime, potter's clay, magnesia, copper pyrites, &c. The county is subdivided into East and West Ridings. After Cork, the capital, the chief towns are Youghal, Fermoy, Queenstown, Bandon, and Kinsale. The county sends two members to Parliament. Pop. in 1871, 516,046; in 1881,495,607; in 1891, 436,641.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914 many of Cork's National Volunteers enlisted to served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers, suffering heavy casualties both in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

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In 1916, during the Easter Rising as many as 1000 Irish Volunteers mobilised in Cork for an armed rebellion against British rule but they dispersed without fighting.

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1917 - Henry Ford opens a car factory in Cork

1920 - The Black and Tans burn part of the city centre

1924 - The Buttermarket closes in Cork

2023 - Let's explore some of the must-visit places and activities in County Cork.
1. Cork City:

English Market: Start your Cork adventure by visiting the iconic English Market. It's a bustling indoor food market where you can sample local delicacies, fresh produce, and artisanal products. Grab a coffee and soak in the lively atmosphere.

St. Patrick's Street: Take a stroll along St. Patrick's Street, Cork's main shopping street. You'll find a mix of high-street stores, boutique shops, and charming cafes. It's a great place for shopping and people-watching.

Cork City Gaol: Explore the fascinating history of Cork at the Cork City Gaol. This former prison is now a museum that offers insight into Ireland's turbulent past. The guided tours are informative and engaging.

Shandon Bells & Tower: Climb the iconic Shandon Bells & Tower at St. Anne's Church for panoramic views of the city. You can also try your hand at ringing the famous Shandon Bells.

2. Cobh:

Titanic Experience: Cobh was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. Visit the Titanic... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: County Cork Ancestry

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Updated: 9/15/2023 9:08:57 AM