7 July 2020
By Tom Collins
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh has officially reopened the Old Cork Waterworks Experience on the Lee Road. Recently renovated and developed by Cork City Council as a tourist attraction, the Old Cork Waterworks is the best-preserved Victorian water-pumping station in Ireland.
The largest flywheel here at old Waterworks measures 12ft in diameter? The engine's flywheel keeps the engine turning smoothly and steadily between each injection of steam #Steamengines pic.twitter.com/rDlvBWcvXb
— Old Cork WaterWorks Experience (@lifetimelabcork) July 6, 2020
Previously derelict Victorian buildings, including a 33-metre high chimney, a steam engine building and boiler house, were restored to incorporate a Visitor Centre, an Education Centre, a café, and a playground and gardens with a picnic area overlooking the River Lee.
The interactive Visitor Experience transports the visitor back to a time when poverty and disease were rife in Cork City and city dwellers got their water from the river or from public fountains. This unique and amazing site tells the story of the Waterworks development, how it changed people’s lives and the extraordinary impact that it had on the city.
The Visitor Experience includes self- and tour-guided elements and a mix of audio-visual and touch-screen interactives, holograms, traditional displays and information panels. Visitors can explore the exhibition space and relax afterwards at the coffee dock or outdoors in the picnic area and playground that boast a beautiful view of the river below.
After his visit, the Lord Mayor said “The Old Cork Waterworks Experience offers a warm and friendly welcome and it was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable visit. It really was a journey through Victorian architecture, discovering more of Cork’s heritage along the way.”