Monday 22 April 2019

Taking stock of Cork's rich industrial heritage

A Tree Week event that took place in Kilmurry last Sunday, led by Ted Cook with close to 60 people in attendance
A Tree Week event that took place in Kilmurry last Sunday, led by Ted Cook with close to 60 people in attendance

Conor Nelligan, County Heritage Officer

Over the past number of years many in the County of Cork, and quite a few further afield, will have become familiar with the Heritage of County Cork Publication Series - a series that explores the vast heritage of the Rebel County.

To date the series has focused on bridges (2013); houses (2014), churches (2015), Rebel sites (2016), castles (2017) and the most recent installment 'Europe and the County of Cork: A Heritage Perspective' (2018).

In continuation of the Series, 2019 will see the publication of a book that examines the Industrial Heritage of County Cork.

One does not need to travel far to come across a feature of industrial heritage with the County of Cor having close to 300 mills alone in the archaeological record.

The upcoming publication will take a look at the earliest origins of industry in County Cork, with a particular focus on the industrial revolution and the inclusion of sites right up to and including the 20th century.

It will examine their construction and in turn their importance to the locality, as well as where they sat in the wider economic growth of the county.

Architectural features associated specifically with industrial sites will be clearly demonstrated and the publication will also feature a number of important industrial sites that the public can visit. The text will include fascinating stories regarding these sites coupled with first-hand accounts of the people who worked them.

From breweries and gunpowder mills to linen works, creameries and foundries, industrial heritage has had a profound impact on the places of County Cork and many places owe their name to such industry, for example, Millstreet in North Cork,.

Many other villages owing their origin to industry, for example,the village of Blarney, which was set up around a local Linen Industry over 250-years-ago.

One of the most important elements of this publication, if not the most important, is the input of local heritage groups and enthusiasts.

Past publications in the Heritage of County Cork Series have benefited hugely from a great number of public submissions including photos for use, stories, and indeed lists of recommended sites that should be featured in the book(s).

With respect to the upcoming publication on the County's industrial Heritage, the Heritage Unit of Cork County Council would be delighted to see a similar response in 2019.

To this effect local heritage societies, community groups and individuals are requested to get involved in the project by submitting any specific information/stories/photos of interest to Cork County Council by Friday, May 10.

Details can be emailed to and/or and the publication will set out to include and reference as many submissions as possible.

For further information, visit


Cork fares well under Built Heritage scheme

In recent news and with regard to conservation projects, the County of Cork has fared well under the 2019 Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and Historic Structures Fund (HSF).

The Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has recently announced that 478 heritage projects across the country will benefit from the schemes (€4.3 Million in total), which include a total 15 projects in the County of Cork.

This represents a significant increase on the 370 projects granted in 2018 where a combined total of €3.3 Million was invested.

The BHIS provides funding for works to protected structures in private and public ownership and the HSF supports conservation works to historic structures, in both private and public ownership, which encourages the regeneration and reuse of heritage properties, in recognition of the importance of these buildings to both locals and visitors alike.

Some 13 Cork applications under the BHIS were successful, to the sum of €92,697.48.

These included a range of different protected structures such as churches, thatched cottages, country houses and even a mill wheel.

Under the Historic Structures Fund the County saw two projects funded - Myrtle Grove in Youghal and the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh - which benefited to the tune of €63,000.

Cork City also benefited well from the scheme with €95,000 granted towards 17 different projects and one project granted under the HSF amounting to €22,000.

Speaking of the two schemes the Minister noted, "investing in our heritage buildings is good for the individual properties concerned, and it also provides a real boost to local communities and supports jobs in traditional building skills, conservation and tourism.  It instils civic and community pride and invigorates by renewing our past."

At the moment, applications are now being prepared and submitted to Cork County Council with regard to the Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme, which closes at noon on Friday.

The Creative Ireland Programme in Cork, through the scheme, aims to encourage and support a multitude of creative and cultural community led projects throughout the County.

For further information on this most excellent scheme as well as the County Cork Pop-up Shop Scheme and the Creative Ireland Programme as a whole, visit


Biodiversity and bringing back the bees

As we look ahead to upcoming events there is plenty happening over the coming days.

On Saturday Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey, will host a wonderful morning, aimed at Tidy Town Groups, Residential Associations and Biodiversity Groups, to highlight how we can bring biodiversity and the bees back into our community.

On the day, participants will be able to enjoy both presentations and inspirational demos, full of 'Bee Friendly' gardening techniques and practical advice that can be adapted to suit different towns, villages and housing estates.

The event, which will run from10am to 1.30pm will also include a talk by Margaret Griffin titled 'What We Can Do to Protect our Local, Natural Biodiversity'.

In order to book free tickets to the event and for more information email: or Ring Miriam on (021) 7334286.


Take a walk in the Gearagh with Ted

Last week Tree Week 2019 was observed around the country and County Cork also witnessed a great number of great and enjoyable events including a very special one led by Ted Cook at Warrenscourt, Kilmurry last Sunday.

Those who missed this event will have a chance to catch up with Ted Cook next Sunday when he leads a walk through the Gearagh, in recognition of the ETB Lifelong Learning Festival.

The walk gets under way at 11am and participants are asked to meet at the car-park along the Macroom - Inchigeelagh Road, lying west of the Gearagh.

It is expected that the walk will take approximately three hours and people are encouraged to come along and also to bring a packed lunch, with some for sharing.


A busy week ahead at Kilmurry Museum

Next Tuesday we return to Kilmurry for a special Book Launch by Michael Galvin.

This launch, which commences at 8pm, takes place in the Independence Museum, and all are most welcome to attend.

Kilmurry is also the venue for a most special talk taking place the following evening, Wednesday (April 17).The talk, commencing at 8pm, is titled 'The Vikings in Ireland' and will be given by Dr. John Sheehan.

Further information about the talk and other events in Kilmurry can be acquired by emailing the Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association -

To celebrate the International Day for M commences at 2pm.

For more information visit