Lots to explore as Cork marks Heritage Open Day

Tomorrow, Saturday, marks Cork Open Heritage Day. Here CIARA O’FLYNN, Assistant Planning Officer, Cork City Council, tells us about the event and what we can look forward to
Lots to explore as Cork marks Heritage Open Day

Tess Dooley with friends Ciara and Donnacha Harte polishing up her grandparent’s home, Riverstown House, launching Cork Heritage Open Day. Picture: Clare Keogh

CORK Heritage Open Day is a celebration of the built heritage in Cork. The festival, which is unique to Cork, marks the start of Heritage Week and will take place in Cork tomorrow, Saturday, August 14.

Cork Heritage Open Day sees the historic buildings in Cork open their doors to the public for one day only. This year due to Covid, the festival is taking place online and we have recorded three-minute guided tours of over 45 buildings in Cork which the public can watch online on www.corkheritageopenday.ie. The videos feature wonderful archival footage of Cork and all are subtitled.

Some of the buildings featured include Riverstown House in Glanmire, the Quaker Meeting House and Graveyard, The Courthouse on Washington Street, Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, Blarney Castle, St Luke’s Church, City Hall, The Maryborough Hotel, Triskel Christchurch, Military Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork Opera House, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Cork Chamber, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Unitarian Church, the Imperial Hotel, Heineken Ireland and National Sculpture Factory. The history of over 45 Cork buildings is featured on the website!

By clicking on www.corkheritageopenday.ie members of the public can take a step back in time and learn about Emma Hourigan and her role in the Irish Revolution, view footage of 1902 International Exhibition in Cork and the Burning of Cork, listen to interviews about the traditions and cultures of the Jewish Community in Cork, the Traveller Community and the Shawlies and hear about the language of the Stonemasons in Cork.

The website, www.corkheritageopenday.ie will go live on Saturday August 14.

One of the events highlighted for Cork Heritage Open Day is a new fun, outdoor activity for all the family – Urban Orienteering. The idea is to get us out and active and appreciating the built heritage of our lovely city. The first route through Shandon was launched last December and a second route will be launched in November, this time weaving its way through the Marsh and the South Parish. Orienteering brings out the explorer in all of us but of course with Urban Orienteering you can always stop for coffee and an ice-cream!

Ciara O’Flynn, Assistant Planning Officer Cork City Council Cork
Ciara O’Flynn, Assistant Planning Officer Cork City Council Cork

No less than Cork Heritage Open Day itself, the aim of the orienteering route is to raise awareness and celebrate the architectural conservation areas of our city that we rush past everyday. Historic features such as wrought iron railings, sash windows, boot scrapers, intricate stone carvings, fanlights crafted by skilled craftspeople 100s of years ago surround us on our streets.

The chosen routes highlight these wonderful historic architectural features on shop fronts, houses, and civic buildings and passes by many of the buildings featured in Cork Heritage Open Day. To access details of the Urban Orienteering Route, log on to www.corkcity.ie/orienteering and there you will find instructions and the map for route 1. By exploring the route, you will find yourself wandering through historic streets and lanes of Shandon, Blarney St, Popes Quay and the North Mall searching out everyday features, crafted by historic hands that may date back hundreds of years. You will also find out some of the stories about the people who once lived and worked here.

This orienteering route consists of a series of fixed checkpoints. The checkpoints are located close to interesting architectural features. You can use the downloadable map and clues from the website above to navigate your way around the streets following the clues provided.

In addition to the drawing and orienteering flag, each checkpoint will have a QR code, which links back to this site, where more information about the stories of the area can be found.

Cork City Council are working on the second Route which covers the Marsh area and the South Parish and have opened an art competition inviting artists to explore the area, find the points on the map and sketch interesting historic architectural features that can be seen from that point. If you fancy leaving your mark on the streets of Cork, enter your drawing to the online competition by logging on to www.corkcity.ie/orienteering and the winning entries will be printed on ceramic tiles which will be installed as the permanent orienteering markers.

Cork Heritage Open Day kick starts Heritage Week in Cork City. Heritage Week features a large programme of events for young and old. On Saturday August 14 Meitheal Mara is hosting a free live Zoom on Making a Heritage CORKumnavigation trip with Jack O Keeffe. Further highlights include a tree walk and talk in Ballincollig on Thursday August 19 by Jack Casey and Ronan Nangle and a talk on beekeeping on Sunday August 22 by Shane Lehane.

Cork City Libraries Heritage Week has a series of exhibitions, online events and walking tours details of which are available on http://www.corkcitylibraries.ie/en/what-s-on/national-heritage-week-2021/.

For further information on this and other Cork Heritage Open Day events or indeed to find out more about the buildings featured on this special celebration of built heritage in Cork city log onto corkheritageopenday.ie

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