Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol which includes heritage architecture, heritage elements and interior views
Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
Experience the harshness of Irish penal life in the 19th century as you wander amid the cells of this architecturally impressive former prison.

Visit Cork City Gaol, where prisoners were held in gruesome conditions for almost a century during the 1800s and 1900s. Learn about this historic prison’s famous inmates, their crimes, escapes and executions while walking between the well-preserved cells. Cork City Goal opened in 1824 and became an all-female prison in 1878. It held a mix of well-known prisoners and poor citizens, many convicted of petty crimes such as stealing clothes and food.

Admire the building’s striking architecture, designed by Kilkenny-born architect William Robertson. Note how it resembles a castle. Look for prominent Georgian and Gothic features, including the turreted battlements.

Pick up an audio guide and take a self-guided tour of the prison’s rooms. Listen to the stories of the former inmates and discover why some were sent to Australia for their crimes. Peek inside the cells, which portray the squalid living conditions. Come face-to-face with wax models of prisoners dressed in period clothing and merciless-looking wardens.

Get an insight into some of the famous figures imprisoned at Cork City Gaol. Among these was Countess Constance Markievicz, an Irish nationalist who became the first woman elected to British Parliament. Hear about the botched execution of Owen Ryan, the first to take place at the prison’s gallows. Be fascinated by the tale of how a group of 42 Irish Republican Army veterans escaped in 1923, many of whom were never recaptured.

The prison closed in 1923 and from 1927 to the 1950s operated as a radio station. Today, the old Governor’s House is home to the Radio Museum, which has a collection of antique radios, photographs and a microphone once used by President John F. Kennedy.

Located in the Sunday’s Well district, the prison is about a 20-minute walk from Cork’s city center. A hop-on hop-off tourist bus also stops here. Alternatively, drive and use free parking on the street outside the prison’s entrance.

Cork City Gaol is open daily and has an admission fee. Extra fees are applicable for the audio guide and Radio Museum. Find more information on the prison’s official website, including details of an evening tour.

Top Trending Hotels Near Cork City Gaol

Jurys Inn Cork
Jurys Inn Cork
4 out of 5
Andersons Quay, Cork, Cork
The price is €130 per night from 18 Sep to 19 Sep
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Cork. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (998 reviews)
"This hotel is the best that we a ever had. Love to come back again soon."

Reviewed on 7 Aug 2022

Jurys Inn Cork
The River Lee Hotel
The River Lee Hotel
4 out of 5
Western Road, Cork, Cork
The price is €170 per night from 18 Sep to 19 Sep
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Cork. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 bars/lounges and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (999 reviews)
"Good hotel with great restaurants and gym. Rooms are decent. Book executive floor access if you can as there is all day coffee and snacks there. The gym is massive and there’s a 20m pool as well."

Reviewed on 2 Aug 2022

The River Lee Hotel
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel
4 out of 5
76 South Mall Street, Cork, Cork, T12 A2YT
The price is €173 per night from 1 Sep to 2 Sep
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Cork. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the bar in their reviews. Popular ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (990 reviews)
"Could not fault this place one bit, the staff were amazing, the room was perfect and the location was ideal."

Reviewed on 8 Aug 2022

Imperial Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Top Hotel Deals

REZz Cork
REZz Cork
3 out of 5
55 MacCurtain Street, Cork, CO, T23 F3CN
The price is €99 per night from 21 Aug to 22 Aug
REZz Cork
The River Lee Hotel
The River Lee Hotel
4 out of 5
Western Road, Cork, Cork
The price is €170 per night from 18 Sep to 19 Sep
The River Lee Hotel
Jurys Inn Cork
Jurys Inn Cork
4 out of 5
Andersons Quay, Cork, Cork
The price is €130 per night from 18 Sep to 19 Sep
Jurys Inn Cork
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel
4 out of 5
76 South Mall Street, Cork, Cork, T12 A2YT
The price is €173 per night from 1 Sep to 2 Sep
Imperial Hotel
Clayton Hotel Cork City
Clayton Hotel Cork City
4 out of 5
Lapps Quay, Cork, Cork
The price is €155 per night from 4 Sep to 5 Sep
Clayton Hotel Cork City
The Montenotte Hotel
The Montenotte Hotel
4 out of 5
Middle Glanmire Road, Montenotte, Cork, Cork
The price is €245 per night from 18 Sep to 19 Sep
The Montenotte Hotel
Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City
Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City
4 out of 5
Southmall, Cork, Co. Cork, T12EE72
The price is €149 per night from 4 Sep to 5 Sep
Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City
Isaacs Hotel Cork City
Isaacs Hotel Cork City
3 out of 5
48 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Cork, T23 F6EK
The price is €149 per night from 4 Sep to 5 Sep
Isaacs Hotel Cork City
The Dean Cork
The Dean Cork
4 out of 5
Horgan's Quay, Cork, County Cork
The price is €197 per night from 31 Aug to 1 Sep
The Dean Cork
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.