Monastic Settlements of Cork

Numerous monastic establishments were founded in early times, nearly all traces of which, as well as of its walls and castles, have been swept away. In the southwestern district of the city is the old cathedral, small and very unlike what a cathedral should be. St. Fin Barre, the founder of the cathedral, was born in the neighborhood of Bandon, and died at Cloyne in 630. His first religious establishment was in an island in Lough Gouganebarra, but about the beginning of the seventh century he founded another on the south bank of the Lee, which became the nucleus of the city of Cork. He was buried here in his own church, and his bones were subsequently enshrined in a silver case; but these relics were carried away by Dermot O'Brien when he plundered the city in 1089. There is little of general interest in the subsequent history of the see. In 1690, at the siege of Cork, a detachment of English troops took possession of the cathedral and attacked the south fort from the tower; the cathedral was so much damaged that it was taken down in 1734 and another erected. With the exception of the tower, which was believed to have formed part of the old church, it was a modern Doric building, with a stumpy spire of white limestone. The mode in which the funds were raised for its erection was the levying of a tax on all the coal imported for five years. This building stood until 1864, when it was taken down in order to erect the present structure upon its site. A cannon-ball, fired during the siege of 1690, was found in the tower, forty feet from the ground, and is now on a bracket within the cathedral. In laying the foundations, three distinct burial-places were found, one above the other, and the human remains found exhibited remarkable racial peculiarities.

St. Anne Shandon Church is at the foot of Church Street, off Shandon Street, at the north side of the city; it was built in 1722, and is remarkable for its extraordinary tower, one hundred and twenty feet high, surmounted by a graduated turret of three stories, faced on two sides with red stone, and on the others with limestone.

"Party-colored, like the people,

Red and white stands

Shandon steeple."

It contains a peal of bells, immortalized by "Father Prout" in the famous lyric:

"... The Bells of Shandon

That sound so grand on

The pleasant waters

Of the River Lee."

They bear the inscription: "We were all cast at Gloucester, in England.—Abel Rudhall, 1750." "Father Prout" is buried in the church-yard of Shandon. Shandon derives its name from Seandun (old fort); the name was given to the church of St. Mary, from its near neighborhood to Shandon Castle, an old seat of the Barrys.

Read "On an Irish Jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara" at your leisure

On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara

Read On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

Samuel Gamble Bayne was born in Ramelton, County Donegal, and educated at Queen's University in Belfast. At the age of twenty-five he left for America with a view to making his fortune. He invested in an oil well in Pennsylvania and later founded a bank which subsequently came to be the JP Morgan Chase bank in New York. By the time this book was written he was wealthy enough to be referred to as a billionaire. His account of the tour through the north, west and south of Ireland is a pleasant snapshot of how that part of the country was in the early part of the 20th century. He describes what is to be seen, gives some background history and, through the illustrations especially, provides wonderful glimpses of the area's social history.

The ebook is available in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf formats. See details ».