Cork City Gaol, Cork

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. Find out how to plan Cork trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.
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Cork City Gaol Reviews
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1,266 reviews
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4.4
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  • Had a good time taking the kids. Didn't think there would be much but was very impressed and it made a good afternoon out. We didn't get a tour guide as with young children thought probably best to go...  more »
  • We took the guided tour and this was a good choice. The guide explained many different aspects of the goal and I learned a lot. There was the history of the gaol itself along with some very personal s...  more »
  • Great place to visit, I have bring twice and I loved it both times. The only down side is you only get to see the newer part of the jail, I would of loved to see the older cells but they are blocked o...  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.
  • My first visit. Absolutely beautiful building. Halloween day great fun & very reasonable. Will definitely go again.
  • Very interesting museum. Well worth paying the extra €2 for the audio guide as the first half of the tour is pretty much catered for the audio guide and you'd be lost without it.
  • 8e is very steep price for what you get! We spent maybe 30 minutes in the entire thing. We didn't opt for the audio tour (+2e) and maybe that was mistake. Perhaps it provided more insight then the guide book. All the guidebook tells you in 2 sentences about some random prisoners who were held there. I really didn't get any sense of "prison" life as some of the other reviews suggest. The grounds are also very restrictive. You can't really walk around and see the outside and only one wing of the prison is accessible. If the price were less, I could recommend it. Right now though, I would say just skip it, go get in line and kiss the Blarney Stone a second time.
  • Called in here as we were passing. Glad that I did. Informative and made you think.

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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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