3 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
More than 40 buildings are set to throw open their doors free-of-charge on Saturday 19 August for the 13th annual Cork Heritage Open Day.
Organised by Cork City Council as part of Heritage Week in partnership with the Heritage Council, this year’s open day will be the biggest yet, with critically acclaimed novelist, playwright and documentary maker Cónal Creedon the event’s ambassador.
Many of the buildings taking part in this year’s Cork Heritage Open Day are not usually accessible to the general public, including The Masonic Hall on Tuckey Street and Heineken Ireland (Murphy’s Brewery) on Leitrim Street.
“I am honoured to be appointed Cork Heritage Open Day Ambassador for 2017. We are guardians of the magnificent living heritage of our city that has been passed down to us through our ancestors,” said Mr Creedon.
“It is a heritage to be treasured and enjoyed at every view and vista; every bridge that spans the River Lee, every twist and turn of the winding streets, every hand hewn block of sandstone, limestone and granite that has been placed one on top of the other by past generations of merchant princes, every steel and glass structure erected by the more recent generations of developer kings.
“Cork Heritage Open Day is such a special celebration of our city. For one day, every year, the doors are thrown open and we, the citizens, are invited to experience the beating heart of our city. It is an invitation not to be missed.”
“We invite people from Cork and beyond to come and peek inside the many wonderful buildings that are throwing open their doors for one day only.
“From educational to ecclesiastical, medieval to military and civic to commercial, every building involved has its own unique history and architecture.”
New heritage gems on the 2017 programme include the recently renovated Nano Nagle Place on Douglas Street and University College Cork’s Crawford Observatory.
There will also be an exciting programme of free guided tours, including a walking tour by Marcus Connaughton of the favourite Cork haunts of legendary musician Rory Gallagher.
A ‘Looking Up’ Heritage competition will take place throughout the day, encouraging people to glance upwards to the unique architectural elements atop of Cork’s historical buildings.
Of the many exciting events on the day, people are also invited to sample soup made for Quaker Soup Kitchens during the Famine; hear a talk on the history of the City Bridges with Antoin O’Callaghan; and find out more about the Navvies, the men who built the railways in Cork, in a talk by Patrick Walsh.
There will be family friendly activities such as the much-loved Coal Quay Festival on Cornmarket Street and a fun-filled Medieval Day at Elizabeth Fort.
Cork Heritage Open Day will mark the start of Cork events for National Heritage Week, running from 19-27 August.
For a full list of events see www.corkheritageopenday.ie or pick up a brochure at Cork City Library or Cork City Tourist Information Office on Grand Parade.
Further information will also be available on Facebook at ‘Cork Heritage Open Day’ and on Twitter at @corkheritage.