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Cork City Gaol, Cork

4.2
#1 of 97 in Museums in Province of Munster
History Museum Historic Site
At Cork City Gaol you can experience what it was like to live in a 19th-century Irish prison. The facility opened in 1824 and closed in 1923, but the museum was not available to the public until 1993. Tour the grounds, view furnished cells, and walk the halls of this historic prison. At different points over the years, both male and female prisoners were jailed here. Many Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War Republicans were held in this prison, including the famous writer Frank O'Connor. Though the prison has a somber atmosphere, take the time to appreciate the beauty of the structure, designed by architect William Robertson and built by the Deane family. Before you head to Cork, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Cork vacation trip planner, to make sure you see all that Cork has to offer, including Cork City Gaol.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,243 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Fabulous building Wonderfully restored Terrible and sadistic but great that the victims' stories are told A must visit  more »
  • Brought two young children and their parents. It was very instructive to the older 12 year old. The other child might not have taken it all in. Parents - both teachers - really enjoyed.  more »
  • This attraction greatly surprised me. We had done a few tours this same day and the thoughts of walking around another one wasn't appealing to me. When we walked in and saw a bland reception desk I ne...  more »
Google
  • Friendly and competent staff. Offers audio tours in a bunch of different languages as well as guided tours. You can also just set out in your own. All the stations have realistic figures to add a visual element. The goal itself is very beautiful, especially when the weather is good. The gift shop has some of the best Ireland-related items that I have come across so far. The best way to get to it is probably the City Tour bus.
  • This a a great place to visit and step back in time to experience what justice was like, especially if you were poor. The self guided audio tour works really well and the staff are ever helpful. Allow about 2 hours for the full effect.
  • The audio tour was very informative the, staff was very helpful and friendly and the Gaol itself was well maintained and interesting. The exhibits were well layed out but i would loved some more i depth information in some places.
  • Very friendly, helpful staff. Audio guide is brilliant, very realistic figures and and an amazing experience for history lovers.
  • Very interesting visit of a beautiful building with a lot of history and with great explanations and museography! A must do in Cork! Ps : disappointing giftshop!

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Where to stay in Cork

A destination in and of itself, Cork City has a dense center with plenty of hotels and hostels. Head north of the city center for affordable options like mid-range hotels and guesthouses. From here, you can walk or bike to all of the sights in the heart of the city. If everything is booked, or if you've simply come to explore the city's surrounding nature, check out the campgrounds about ten minutes from the center of town by car. There are also a number of charming bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and other pensions in the outskirts, which can be a good option if you're using the city as a base for exploring the sights of Cork County.
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5 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM FRANCE September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Cork BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in United Kingdom, France & Ireland BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in United Kingdom, France & Ireland BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Cork BY A USER FROM FINLAND August, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in County Cork BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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