COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



Old City Gaol

Cork City Gaol Interior © psyberartist
Cork City Gaol Interior © psyberartist

The old Cork City Gaol looks the same as it did in Victorian times, with its barred windows, cells, bare corridors and iron stairways behind the unwelcoming gateway. The gaol once incarcerated 19th century prisoners. The building was built in 1824 and is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture surviving in Cork.

Self-guided audio tours are an option. Life-size figures, sounds and exhibitions tell the story and social history of 19th century Cork and the reasons people turned to crime, which was mainly due to extreme poverty. Visitors can still see the graffiti that prisoners carved or wrote on the walls, and there are many interesting facts and stories to be heard. Unsurprisingly, the Cork City Gaol is said to be haunted, which is very easy to believe when strolling through the formidable building.

The tour is available in 13 languages and it really does transport visitors into another century. Children will enjoy this attraction and it is a good activity for the whole family. Although it is popular, it never seems too crowded, which adds to the eerie atmosphere.

Address: Convent Avenue, Sunday's Well


Telephone: +353 21 430 5022

Opening times: October to March 10am-4pm, April to September 9.30am-5pm

Admission: Adults €10. Concessions available.