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A comprehensive guide to the architectural riches of Ireland’s largest county, including Cork city. Its variety of scenery and topography are such that County Cork has been described as a microcosm of the island of Ireland.


Many of the highlights are in Cork city, where the Georgian streets and quays are diversified by grand Neoclassical public buildings such as G.R. Pain’s Court House of the 1830s. The city’s later buildings include two of international importance: St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, by the celebrated Gothic revival designer William Burges, and the American architect Barry Byrne’s iconoclastic 1930s church of Christ the King.


Other towns include Viking and Norman foundations such as Kinsale and Youghal, Bandon, a model plantation town of the 17th century, Mitchelstown, with its expansive Georgian alms-houses; and Cobh, presided over by Pugin & Ashlin’s spectacularly sited Catholic cathedral. The many castles and tower houses include the imposingly situated Carrigadrohid and the McDonagh McCarthy’s strongholds of Lohort and Kanturk; among later country houses, Kilshannig and Fota represent Irish Georgian architecture at its most accomplished. The strategic importance of Cork harbour is reflected in its many and diverse fortifications, and the county’s long coastline is enhanced by a delightful variety of lookouts and lighthouses.

Published March 2020 - available at all good bookshops