Secret Cork city experiences:
Looking for secret cork history, stories and legends? Things only a local would know?
Well you’ve come to right place. We have authentic secret Cork stories about everything from dissecting bodies and the local University’s rugby insignia. To Cork city’s rebel past in the fight against the British empire.
1. Secret Cork city’s rebel past.
Little would you know, from walking through Cork city today. That 100 years ago, Cork was at the centre of a military conflict that was fought by hit and run tactics and ambushes on one side. And looting, burning and reprisals on the other.
During the Irish war of independence. A war was fought between Ireland and it’s next door neighbour from 1919 to 1921.
A truce was eventually signed. Which gave birth to the Irish nation.
If you’d like to hear more about the assassinations, bomb factories and killings. Make sure to check out out the rebel city tour of Cork when you get to the city.
Make sure to book ahead. Since places are first-come-first-served!
2. Hidden Cork: The four-faced liar on the North side.
Known to locals as the four-faced liar because it’s North/South clock faces used to tell a different time than the clocks East/West faces. The St. Anne’s church on the north side of the city. Is as famous for it’s clock as it is for the goldie fish weather vane which sits a top the church steeple.
Here’s a story that tells you a little about a North/South historical divide in Cork city.
Northsiders, known as norries. Have often remarked that since the minute hands on the East/West faces of the clock still always precede the North/South minute hands in the ascent from the half hour to the hour. Catching up again when they reach the full hour.
This signifies the fact that the southsiders, known as sorries. Have always been that bit slower than the norries. But they do catch up eventually.
3. University College Cork’s myths and legends.
A University College Cork (UCC) legend. Anyone student who crosses the quad. Or square section of grass at the heart of the campus. Will fail their next exams.
Probably thought up by some jealous grounds keeper that wanted to keep students off the grass.
Also, it just so happens that the medical campus on UCC is adjacent to the site of an old gaol. And unclaimed bodies from the gaol were sent to the medical campus to be dissected and studied. In bags marked with the skull and crossbones.
Today, UCC’s rugby team plays with the skull and cross bones insignia on their shirts.
4. A Cork city secret: The founding mothers of modern day Australia.
Did you know that female convicts, imprisoned in the Elizabeth fort near the city centre. Went on to become known as the founding mothers of modern day australia?
The story goes, that female convicts in the prison. Were sent to Australia for their, very minor, crimes by the government of the time.
After serving their sentences. They were released. Without the funds to secure passage back to Ireland. The newly-released women settled in Oz. Married. And bore children.
Later becoming known as the founding mothers of modern day Australia.
5. The goldie angel and the end of the world.
Most locals know of this legend. The famous St. Fin barre’s Cathedral near the city centre of Cork city. Is one of Cork’s most famous attractions.
Best known for the gold-plated angel blowing her trumpet erected towards the rear of the Cathedral. It is said locally, that when the goldie angel blows her trumpet. It will signify to the citizens of Cork that the world is ending. Helping Corkonians be among the first to enter the gates of heaven.
Possibly, on a mission to save the world. Or possibly after having a few in a local watering hole. Some local superhero, read: brazen thief, climbed the cathedral in 1998 and stole the goldie angel’s trumpets from the statue over 100 feet from the ground.
They were later found in the grounds of a Catholic church on the other side of the city.
6. The Brennan Torpedo Was First Trialed In Cork harbour.
The Brennan torpedo. Otherwise known as the world’s first practical guided missile was first tested in Cork harbour around 1877.
Brennan, an Irish-born, Australian inventor. Patented the torpedo and later sold it to the British War Office for £100,000.
This idea was trialled at Camden Fort Meagher at Crosshaven on Cork harbour.
Know of any other secret Cork stories that should be included? Leave them in the comment section below and we’ll get back to you…
Don’t forget to check out our blog post for things to do in Cork city. Or perhaps you’re looking for what comes next after the Ring of Kerry cycle?
Also, make sure you don’t leave Cork without taking our Rebel city tour of Cork. It’s guaranteed to be fun and educational.
- Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon, Cork by Mac McCarron, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- The Elizabeth Fort: Vimalkvn, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- The Goldie Angel: Plasmoid, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons
- The Brennan Torpedo: I, KTo288, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons
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