12 August 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Experience Cork’s heritage and history through free events and open buildings on Cork’s Heritage Open Day
From Rory Gallagher walking tours to the hidden treasures of the Masonic Lodge, the diversity of Cork’s unique heritage will be open for all to explore and celebrate on Cork Heritage Open Day on Saturday, 22 August 2015.
More than 40 buildings will unlock their doors and provide free public access on this special day in Cork city. Many of these buildings are not typically accessible to the public, making Cork Heritage Open Day a really unique opportunity to explore the built heritage of Cork. As well as access to buildings, there are more than 100 free events taking place throughout the city included in the programme for Saturday, 22 August 2015.
“Cork Heritage Open Day has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2005 to mark Cork’s designation as European Capital of Culture. We are delighted to have more than 40 buildings open to the public this year,” said Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer at Cork City Council. “Cork Heritage Open Day really demonstrates the diversity of the city’s heritage through an exciting line up of walks, talks, events and building openings. It’s a great day out for all the family and those of all ages, and it doesn’t cost a penny.”
This year’s Cork Heritage Open Day recognizes the twenty year anniversary of Rory Gallagher’s death, with walking tours by Marcus Connaughton, author of several books on Rory Gallagher’s life and this year’s Cork Heritage Open Day Ambassador. There are also maritime tours at Port of Cork Custom House and a Water Heritage Day at the Lifetime Lab.
Elizabeth Fort will host a Medieval Family Fun Day with historical re-enactments and displays of weaponry and pottery as well as archery, medieval games and all sorts of family fun. The Cork City and County Archives will open their doors on Cork Heritage Open Day to share the “Moments in Time: 1915 Archives of Cork” which details the visit of Padraig Pearse to Cork exactly 100 years ago on 22 and 23 August 1915.
Some walking tour highlights this year include “Cork’s Shortest Walking Tour” by Design Historian Tom Spalding, which packs 250 years of Cork’s history into 900 yards in the vicinity of Grand Parade! Other walking tours include the Cork Music Scene & Sir Henrys Tour, “Being Boole” which marks George Boole’s bicentenary this year, the Origins of the Quakers in Cork, a Bug & Ladybird Hunt for Children and many more.
There are several self-guided walks on Cork Open Heritage Day, which explore various facets of the city’s heritage from Steps and Steeples, which encompasses amazing buildings and the most spectacular views from the North Side of the city, Customs & Commerce, which follows the river to showcase some of the old and new buildings in Cork City, Medieval to Modern, which weaves through the once Medieval lanes to the more modern streets, Saints and Scholars lies to the south side of the city encompassing some of the most educational and religious buildings in Cork City, and Life and Learning which encompasses UCC, Fitzgerald Park and the Lifetime Lab.
Cork Heritage Open Day kicks off Cork Heritage Week, which runs from 22 August to 30 August. Copies of the Cork Heritage Open Day brochures including maps, event and building details are available at Cork City Council, Cork City Library and Cork Tourist Office. For more information, please visit www.corkheritageopenday.ie or find us on Facebook and Twitter.