From our maritime history to revolutionary heroes like Michael Collins, Cork's museums are plentiful, unique and fascinating..
If you like history and heritage you’ll love Cork’s treasure trove of museums. Here’s a small selection of some of our favourites…
Cork Public Museum, Cork City
Located in a 19-century Georgian building in the lush greenery of Fitzgerald’s Park you’ll find exhibitions and artefacts from the bronze age, Cork’s medieval past including artefacts from digs around the city’s old walls as well as a focus on the Cork’s War of Independence heroes Michael Collins, Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain.
Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh
For centuries, Cobh (pronounced ‘Cove’) town in Cork harbour was the last sight many Irish emigrants saw of their country before starting new lives in the U.S. and Canada. That’s if they made it through the dangerous transatlantic journey. Many, like the passengers of the Titantic, did not. This centre is a must for all visitors with or without Irish heritage who are interested in the story of Irish emigration.
Nano Nagle Place, Cork City
This wonderful new addition to our museum offerings documents life in 18th century Cork and the Nano Nagle’s tireless work helping the city’s poor. As well as the exhibitions and artefacts there’s a highly rated café and over 3 acres of beautiful gardens to explore – an oasis of calm in a bustling city.
Michael Collins House, Clonakilty
Michael Collins led the fight against British rule during the War of Independence and here, in the heart of Clonakilty town, you can discover the story of Ireland’s revolutionary hero through a collection of interactive displays, artefacts and tours in the heart of Clonakilty town in west Cork.
Cape Clear Museum & Archive
For a taste of life on an Irish speaking island visit Cape Clear and its museum. The short ferry ride from Baltimore village to the most southerly island in Roaring Water Bay is worth the journey alone but this former school house and its huge collection of stories, genealogy information and artefacts make for a fascinating visit.
Cork Butter Museum, Cork City
There was a time when Cork was the world’s largest exporter of butter and given the country’s dominance in global dairy produce this quirky museum, located right next to the famous Shandon Bells, tells the story of Ireland’s obsession with dairy from medieval times right up to the present day. The New York described it as a ‘surprisingly engaging and multi-faceted view of history’.
Allihies Copper Mine Museum, Beara
This small, modern and intriguing museum and café tells the story of how the discovery of copper in nearby mountains changed this village forever. Located on the picturesque Beara Peninsula on the Wild Atlantic Way, the tranquillity and peace here today belies the industrial clamour and desperate working conditions that once employed over 1500 people.
Youghal Clock Gate Tower
Take a guided tour and discover tales of tragedy, rebellion, love and friendship in one of Ireland’s Ancient East top tourist attractions – a clock tower straddling the main street since 1777 telling, not just the current time, but 700 years of history of this old town.