Cork City Gaol – A Cork City Must See

I love old buildings, I love Irish history and I am always intrigued with times gone past. On our recent trip to Cork City, we were invited to explore one of Cork’s top attractions, the Cork City Gaol and we loved it.


Perched high above the city along Convent Avenue on Sunday’s Well, the Gaol looks over the city of Cork. We arrived first thing in the morning to explore the premises and we were the first and only people exploring the jail for some time. It was fantastic.


We took the audio headsets so that we could learn of the history on our self-guided tour and in my opinion, this is the only way to explore the gaol. We ventured from cell to cell as we learnt of the history of the prison and also of its most famous occupants since it opened in 1870.



But not only is the Gaol historic, its stunning in design and we found ourselves wowed by its outside appearance and that of the cell block we explored. Cells themselves were cold and eery and you really can feel the sadness that once filled each of them. We often had chills run down our spines.


Throughout the cells you will see writing on the walls from Ireland’s more troubled days as well as stories and more.




It took us approximately an hour to an hour and a half to really explore every possible area of the Gaol and we did so at a leisurely pace. Towards the end of our tour, the Gaol was starting to get really busy and we were delighted we arrived early as we basically had the cell block to ourselves.


On-site if you’re in any way a radio fan, there is also a radio museum and that was quite interesting too. The grounds of the Gaol are also pretty to wander. We even spotted to the right of the jail, a derelict building, which we reckon may have been an old convent or Magdalene Workhouse..but really we’re just speculating as to what it might be. If anyone knows do tell me! 😉

We loved exploring the Gaol and if you’re interested in Irish history, it needs to be on your list. One things for sure, Cork City Gaol is a Cork City must see! Adult tickets are just €8 and the audio headset for your self guided tour is an additional €2. Be sure to get the audio headset as we found it really enhanced our exploration of the Gaol.

For more information on Cork City Gaol, visit their website here.

Ps… rumour has it that Cork City Gaol is haunted so be sure to keep an eye out over your shoulder while you explore….

Is it on your bucket list?

Always Wandering,


Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted two complimentary passes to explore the Gaol but as always, all views in this post are that of my own. No money was exchanged in place of this review. 



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  1. Looks a fabulous place to visit. No doubt a place with so much history has its spooky corners, so no wonder there’s talk of haunting.

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