We really enjoyed our visit for Halloween. There was so much going on for kids – the face painter was excellent, the balloon guy was great and the jester was so funny. The black cat treasure hunt was great fun and kept the kids occupied for ages. The staff were all friendly and helpful and the displays are fascinating. We had a great afternoon!
A very well done attraction. Lots of history. They provide you a booklet that takes you on a tour of the jail – it gives little stories and bits of info – super interesting! It is a beautiful and creepy place. Well worth a trip!
Visited October 2016
Visited October 2016
“Excellent tour and quite informative ”
We really enjoyed our tour of this jail, with tour guide Aiden. He was very enthusiastic and really made it come alive. We learned a lot about Irish history in general, as well as the history of the jail. It was definitely one of the highlights of our visit to Cork. You might want to call ahead to find out when the tours are scheduled, as having a tour made it a much better visit. 5/5
Suitably paced tour with knowledgeable guide, tells an interesting story of the gaol and indeed it’s reflection if Ireland in that era. Fascinating place! 5/5
Visited August 2016
Great day out with the kids. Really enjoyable. The children really enjoyed the visit. It had something for everyone. 5/5
I do believe this is up there with must see in Cork. Our day was a very wet and windy day which possibly added to the dire feel of this imposing place. MARY our guide was excellent you really got the feel of what it must have been like for the inmates and if you wish you can “try out ” a cell!! This prison housed not only adults but also children some very sorry cases indeed. You also might see a ghost in one cell if you linger around long enough. Also in was not only in society where class distinction was felt it also happened in Gaol. Suitable in my opinion for all ages. And the cafe do an excellent coffee and scones. 5/5
“Exciting, fun and historical!”
This place is not to miss! With a free guided tour, there are so many exciting stories to hear and cells with wax figures to visit. It is something unlike anything I have ever experienced, and we are SO glad we took the time to visit! 5/5
I came here with my summer scheme and the group I was in the 7-9 were going to Cork city jail. We got a tour around the place and the man told us why/how the people got arrested.. Me and my friend thought it was so good I hope they bring us there next year. 5/5
Really enjoyed this jail! The cells gave us a “fun house” effect ~ from light headed and dizzy to feeling pressure on my daughter’s head. We loved it. 5/5
Once again, Primary Times readers have come up trumps and have voted for
their favourite local family-friendly places and entertainment in the annual
reader survey from our summer magazines. We were pleasantly surprised by the
number of votes from families throughout Ireland who decided to participate
and we think the results provide an interesting snapshot of what’s popular
with families and gives the worthy winners a well-deserved round of applause.
Congratulations Cork City Gaol! You have made it into the Locals’ Guide To Cork Top 50 Best Things To Do & See in Cork 2013
FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of leading travel site TripAdvisor, are thrilled to announce that through industry research and traveller feedback, have found the most loved and most talked about museums across the UK and Ireland, and Cork City Gaol has been recognized on the list of Top Museums Worth Traveling For in the UK & Ireland!
We wanted to share this accolade with you and encourage even more travellers to visit. Here is the link to the full list of places that made the list: http://www.flipkey.com/blog/2014/09/26/top-uk-museums-worth-traveling-for/
Online Business Development Associate
FlipKey.com | Boston, MA
Reviewed 25 September 2014
walking into the place felt strange. it wasn’t busy and i almost felt like i was intruding. however once i started with the tour my wife and i thoroughly enjoyed it. they gave us a map and many exhibitions were numbered and the map explained each exhibition. it gave you a through understanding of what it was like to be a prisoner and guard here and the life conditions. they certainly weren’t pleasant. quite sad really. most important though was that they did a magnificent job restoring this gaol that was decommissioned in 1923. i would highly recommend a visit to understand just why some people were sent to gaol and its affects on them. lastly near the end of the tour you get a chance to put yourself in shackles which was fun.
Strong praise, I know. But well deserved. What do I mean by that? I travel widely and am a professional historian by training. I visit many, many historic houses and buildings. It is not easy to take bricks and mortar and make them tell a story about the past. It is here that the Cork City Gaol has completely set the bar.
In just under two hours I learned the story of the people who were incarcerated, the people who guarded them, and the political, economic, and penal circumstances that made up life at the Gaol.
You pretty much have free reign in this beautiful old building (the architecture is a good enough reason to go by itself). The experience is immersive; you enter old cells and see creepily lifelike figures engaged in various activities. You can close yourself in a cell and lay down on a representative mattress to get a realistic feel for what it’s like. You read real life newspaper stories of arrests and executions and learn the story of the inmates. These are no abstract prisoners, but real people with real names and reasons for why they spent time at the Gaol.
The whole fantastic experience concludes with a terrific multimedia presentation on all of the aforementioned subjects.
Don’t miss this place while you’re in Cork. It was easily the best thing I did there. Tremendous credit goes to the creators of these exhibits for so vividly bringing the past to life.
We had heard about the gaol previous to our trip to Ireland and decided it would be worth a visit.
As it turned out , the visit became the highlight of our 2 night stay on the island. It’s difficult to walk to from the city centre as It’s mostly uphill, but the 10 min taxi drive only cost us 7 Euros.
The entry fee is 8 Euros per adult with free guide book, and for additional 3 Euro, you’re supplied with audio commentary via earphones .
The tour itself takes around 40 mins, and is really informative. And along with the waxwork models of the prisoners and warders, you get a real atmospheric feel.
There’s a gift shop attached to the wing. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and the place is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Amazing history to be seen in this old city jail. Fantastic old, well preserved building which is very big and powerful looking. Took the tour, it was very informative. Great staff, entry is reasonable and you learn a lot once inside. The grounds are also very nice. But the history you learn inside is incredible. Fantastic experience.
“What An Experience!”
Such an experience! Well preserved location and tours are offered throughout the day. Despite all of the history involved…it is quite a lovely spot! Not to be missed!
“escape from the rain”
I passed the gaol while walking about Cork’s parks and made a note a possible wet weather visit. In fact, I did use it to escape the rain but really enjoyed the time there. We were given a good plan and explanation of the gaol by the helpful staff on reception and I spent some time exploring on my own. At half past the hour one of the museum staff did a tour for about 40 -45 minutes and I stayed on for that. She was clearly spoken and added a little more than the thorough free guide. At the end of the tour there is a 20 minute audio-visual presentation which I stayed for. I was surprised how many people walked out of that after 5 minutes as I found it fascinating.
Good tour would appeal to many different age groups.
“a great bit of history”
This is in a lovely location just within walking distance from the beautiful Fitzgerald park but it is not marked very well it looks down over the city. The stories of some of the people who where imprisoned here is very sad and their conditions were terrible. the present day staff are brilliant. the place is also very safe if you have young children
I just wanted to drop you a quick e-mail to thank you again for all your help with the Focus Ireland Shine a Light Night 2013.
The event was a great success and is well on the way to raising €100,000 which will fund our services in Munster. We’ve had really positive feedback from the participants and they were all very impressed by the iconic venue. Thanks again for your enthusiasm, energy and incredible willingness to assist in every request in the lead up to the event. It was, and is, greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to working with you again in the future.
Fundraising Initiatives Co-ordinator