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South Parish, Cork

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South Parish, Cork

Red Abbey tower

South Parish is the name given to both a Roman Catholic parish of Cork City and to the residential area contained in it.


The parish stretches from Oliver Plunkett Street in the north to St Patrick's Road in the south and from Sharman Crawford Street in the west to Albert Road in the east [1]

When used to refer to the residential area, the parts north of the south channel of the River Lee are usually excluded as being part of the city centre. Additionally, the areas east of Anglesey Street are often excluded as they are somewhat disconnected from the rest of the area.


Elizabeth Fort in the 19th Century

The South Parish is one of the oldest inhabited areas of Cork City. Along with Shandon, it was the first area developed outside the city walls. In the oldest known maps of Cork City, there are structures shown in the area.

There was a Danish settlement in the area that is now Frenches Quay, Barrack Street and George's Quay as early as the 10th century AD. In this area, Keysers Hill still bears a name of Danish origin.[2]

The Red Abbey, which is Cork's oldest surviving structure was built in the late 13th or early 14th century.[3] The current Elizabeth Fort was built in 1624 to replace an earlier fort built in 1601.

By 1690, there was significant development in the area, with the streets that are now Barrack St, Evergreen St, Douglas St, Cove St and Sober Lane clearly distinguishable and lined with buildings.[4]

It was in this year that the Siege of Cork took place. Cork was occupied by Jacobite forces who held Elizabeth Fort. They were attacked by Williamite forces from the Red Abbey and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, the only high vantage points in the area. This siege led to significant damage to buildings in the area, such as the Red Abbey, which was never used for religious purposes again and St Nicholas Church, which was not rebuilt until 1720.[2]

In 1726 all but a small area of the South Parish designated as 'Gardens' was built up [5] and by 1750, the development of the area was complete,[6] with any new buildings just replacing existing buildings.

The present South Chapel (St. Finbarr's South), the Roman Catholic parish church was built in 1766.[2] The Church of Ireland church, St Nicholas, was rebuilt again in 1850, although this is now deconsecrated with parish duties merged with the parish of St Fin Barre's cathedral [7]

Bordering suburbs

  1. ^ "Diocese of Cork and Ross - South Parish". Diocese of Cork and Ross. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Origins of Cork City- Barrack Street Heritage Trail". Cork Heritage. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  3. ^ - Red Abbey Street
  4. ^ "1690 : The City of Cork map". Cork Past and Present. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  5. ^ "1726: John Carty Plan of Cork City". Cork Past and Present. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  6. ^ "1750: Smith's Plan of Cork City". Cork Past and Present. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  7. ^ "St Nicholas's Church, Cove Street, Cork City, Cork City". Buildings of Ireland. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 

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