Find Us
Find Us

Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well, Cork City, T23 VX25 ,Ireland

Call Us
Call Us:
021-4305022
Email Us
Email Us:
[email protected]

Visit Us

Visit Cork City Gaol and get an insight into what life was like in a 19th Century prison: explore the grounds, wander the corridors and even get locked into a cell in the prison that Countess Markievicz called “the most comfortable jail” she had ever been in!

Learn the stories of some of the prisoners and staff that resided here like Mary McDonnell, who became a regular at Cork City Gaol with no less than 57 convictions! Or hear the amusing story of conman James Burns and how he nearly slipped arrest.

There is plenty to see, do and learn about, here in Cork City Gaol. We await your sentencing arrival.

Facilities

  • Coach & Car parking: on street parking is available. Maximum time is 2 hours, no disk is required. There is a parking space for coaches across the road from the Gaol.
  • Toilets: available in the main building, including a wheelchair accessible toilet and a baby changing unit.
  • Partial Wheelchair access: Cork City Gaol has partial access for wheelchair users. You can contact us in advance or on arrival to arrange access.

To access the building itself we will open up the main gate for you and bring you up around the side of the building. Depending on the size of your bus/car, you can drive right up to the main building if you wish. Access is then by a small ramp, through an emergency exit, into the West Wing.

Unfortunately, we do not have a lift/elevator in the Gaol so you will not be able to get upstairs. The majority of the exhibit is, however, on the ground floor – 7 of our 9 prisoner stories, the governor’s office, the Audio-Visual show and gift shop are all on the ground floor.

The doors in the building are wide enough for wheelchairs to fit through relatively easily and we also have one wheelchair accessible toilet.

  • Open top bus pick up and set down (March to November): Please see http://www.corkcitytours.com/ for timetable and ticket information.
  • Souvenir Shop Stocking a selection of Gaol, Cork and Irish souvenirs as well as cold and hot drinks and snacks.
  • Picnic Area We have a number of picnic tables in the Governors Garden and plenty of green space for you to set up a picnic blanket.
  • Tourist Information Fliers, maps and Irelands Ancient East information point.
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Opening Hours & Rates

March to October:
Monday to Sunday
10am to 5pm

November to February:
Thursday to Monday
10am to 4pm
Closed Tuesday/Wednesday

Closed 22nd – 26th December
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Admissions Rates

Adult with Guide Book: €10.00

Student with Guide Book: €8.50

OAP with Guide Book: €8.50

Child with Guide Book: €6.00

Family Ticket with Guide Books: €30.00

*Please note : Audio guides are an additional €2 per person

SELF-GUIDED TOURS

For Self-Guided tours, visitors can come in at any time. A guidebook is included in your admission rate and includes a map of the building as well as the stories of the prisoners and staff that you meet on your tour. The guidebook is available in 11 different languages.

If you prefer to listen to the tour, an audio guide is available to rent at an additional cost of €2 per guide. The audio guide is simple to use and very easy to follow. It is available in 9 different languages.

GUIDED TOURS

Led by one of our experienced Tour Guides, the guided tour brings you on a 45-minute journey through time where you learn about what life was like for prisoners and staff in the Gaol.

  • Throughout the Year: 2pm daily
  • July and August: Every hour, on the hour

Guided Tours are an additional €2 per person. Please note that the guided tours are only available in English.

Groups of 10 or more must be pre-booked, please click here for more information.

LANGUAGE GUIDEBOOK AUDIO GUIDE
Czech
Dutch
English
French
German
Irish
Italian
Mandarin
Polish
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Please note:
  • Senior ticket is for 65 years & up.
  • Students must provide a valid student id (international ids accepted).
  • Children under 3 are free of charge, Child ticket is valid for those aged 3 to 17 years.
  • Family Ticket consists of 2 adults and between 2 and 4 children.
  • Under 18s must be accompanied by an Adult.

A Brief History

  • 1 1818

    Construction of the Boundary walls begin

  • 2 1824

    Cork City Gaol accepts its first prisoner

  • 3 1828

    first execution takes place on 26th April

  • 4 1840

    Dr William Beamish becomes the Gaol Doctor

  • 5 1856

    John Barry Murphy becomes Governor of the Gaol

  • 6 1870

    Western Wing is re-modelled

  • 7 1878

    Cork City Gaol becomes a female-only prison.

  • 8 1922/1923

    Male and female republicans are kept in the Gaol during the Irish Civil War.

  • 9 1923

    Conditions in the Gaol deteriorate so much that the prisoners are released or transferred and the Gaol is closed.

  • 10 1927

    Raidió Éireann begins broadcasting from the Governors House.

  • 11 1993

    Following a 4-year restoration project the Gaol opens to the public as a visitor attraction.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When are you open?

    From March to October, we are open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm. From November to February, we are open Thursday to Monday from 10am to 4pm.

    We also close from the 22nd to 26th December (inclusive).

  • Do we have to pre-book?

    Pre-booking is not essential for individuals and families, you can purchase tickets on arrival. Groups of 10 or more people must pre-book, please click here for more information.

  • Do you have parking?

    There is free parking outside the Gaol for up to two hours, no parking disc is required.

  • What bus can I get to the Gaol?

    There is no public bus that passes the Gaol, the 208 bus stops on Western Road, which is about a 10-minute walk. The hop-on hop-off tour bus does stop outside the Gaol, but this is seasonal, please check their website for information.

  • How much is it to visit the Gaol?

    The admission rate is €10 for adults, €8.50 for seniors and students, €6 for children and €30 for a family ticket. Audio guides or a daily guided tour is available for an additional €2 per person.

  • Is there a guided tour?

    YES: We currently offer a guided tour at 2pm daily, pre-booking is advised. There is an extra charge of €2 per person for the guided tour. In July and August guided tours run every hour from 10am to 4pm.

  • Is there a self-guided option?

    We currently have 2 self-guided options; the guide book is included in the admission rate and you also have the option of using an audio guide which would be €2 per guide.

  • What languages do you offer the tour in?

    Guided tours are currently only available in English.

    The Guide Book is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Irish, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian & Spanish.

    The Audio Guide is available in Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Polish & Spanish.

  • Do you accept the Heritage Ireland / OPW Card?

    We are a privately-owned heritage centre; we are not a part of the OPW or Heritage Ireland so we do not accept these cards.

  • Is the Gaol wheelchair Accessible?

    Cork City Gaol has partial access for wheelchair users.

    To access the building itself we will open up the main gate for you and bring you up around the side of the building. Depending on the size of your bus/car, you can drive right up to the main building if you wish. Access is then by a small ramp, through an emergency exit, into the West Wing.

    Unfortunately, we do not have a lift/elevator in the Gaol so you will not be able to get upstairs. The majority of the exhibit is, however, on the ground floor – 7 of our 9 prisoner stories, the governor’s office, the Audio-Visual show and gift shop are all on the ground floor.
    The doors in the building are wide enough for wheelchairs to fit through relatively easily and we also have one wheelchair accessible toilet.

  • Is the Gaol suitable for children?

    Yes, the Gaol is suitable for children, we offer a Gaol quiz to keep them interested as you do the tour. Please note that access for buggies is limited as we do not have a lift in the Gaol.

  • Do you have toilets?

    We do have toilets in the Gaol, including a wheelchair accessible toilet and a baby changing unit.

  • Do you have a coffee shop or restaurant?

    No, we don’t have a coffee shop onsite, we do have a coffee machine in our gift shop available all year round. If you are looking for somewhere to eat nearby; Vikki’s Cafe is just around the corner, and just a 10 minute walk is The Natural Foods Bakery in Fitzgerald Park.  We are also near the Kingsley Hotel and River Lee Hotel. The city centre and Wilton Shopping Centre are also quite close to the Gaol.

  • Do you have the prison records in the Gaol? / Can I get information about prisoners?

    We only have the information in respect to the specific prisoners included on the tour. We obtained this information from the National Archives in Dublin, the National Archive website is www.nationalarchives.ie

  • Are dogs allowed within the Gaol complex?

    Only service dogs are allowed visit the Gaol.

  • Do children have to be accompanied by an adult when visiting the Gaol?

    Yes, anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times during their visit.