One of the most memorable Cork Tourist Attractions
Cork is a city with a very rich historical and archaeological heritage much of it still in evidence today. Part of this heritage , Cork City Gaol is located 2km n/w from Patrick's Street and while the magnificent castle like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners. Visitors get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland's architectural heritage.
Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre -famine times to the foundation of the state. The cells are furnished with amazingly life like wax figures; original graffiti on cell walls tell the innermost feelings of some inmates while a very spectacular audio visual tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of the 19th century Cork and why some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages.
At the same location and uniquely situated in the former Governors house, is the radio museum Experience incorporating the restored 6CK Radio Broadcasting Studio. In addition to an audio visual on Marconi- and particularly his Irish connections, there is a wonderful collection of artefacts, including the RTE Collection, providing a nostalgic trip back to the early days of Radio.
In the time I have been writing these books, I've visited hundreds of great attractions, every single one has left a memory that will have a permanent place within my ever growing mind. There are also those attractions such as the Gaol here in Cork, that have left a very different kind of memory. As I walked around this foreboding building, and after visiting other gaols around Ireland and England as a whole, I thought I actually knew what to expect, I was wrong! As I walked along the cold stones of the prisons floors, and looked out of some of the hundreds of barred windows, I could actually believe that maybe I was incarcerated for real, which really did make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! The statues of past prison staff and inmates can be seen all over the prison and look very realistic indeed, it is clear to see that a lot of thought has gone into every inch of this once draconian building.