Heritage

The Cork City docklands intertwine a storied past with vibrant modernity, seamlessly integrating history and heritage into its urban fabric. Once a bustling industrial hub, the area now thrives as a living testament to its maritime legacy.

Preserved architectural remnants stand alongside contemporary structures, celebrating the city’s evolution while honoring its roots. Museums, cultural centers, and interpretive installations pay homage to the docklands’ historical significance, inviting residents and visitors alike to immerse themselves in a captivating journey through time, bridging the gap between yesterday and tomorrow.

1763

Construction of the Navigation Wall commences. For more than a century, the cut limestone wall is erected in stages,starting in 1763,reaching Barrington’s Avenue by 1846. A famine relief scheme in the late-1840s sees the Navigation Wall widened and extended to Blackrock Pier, creating a new elm tree-lined road, later named “The Marina”,after a similarly reclaimed piece of land in Palermo, Sicily.

1780

Cork Corporation prepare a master plan for the marsh land ‘between the two river channels’ created by the new navigation wall to the east of the main city, referred to as ‘the South Slob’.The plan envisions a Georgian grid-style urban development, with large 90 feet wide central ‘Great Street’, a large public square to its east and a circular quay 50 feet wide.

1814

Cork Harbour Commissioners hold their first meeting in 1814 and construction of their new headquarters at Custom House is completed in 1818. The adjacent 16 bay bonded warehousing continue to be developed until 1849.

1829

In 1829, the Cork Harbour Commissioners construct a shipyard, patent slip and steam works at a site between modern day Water Street and Lower Glanmire Road. In the 1870 s an enormous gridiron structure was constructed beside the slipway at Castleview Terrace, upon which to repair ships. At its height in the 19th & 20th centuries, Cork’s ship building industry employs almost 2,000 people.

1820 - 1830s

The “South Slob” marshlands(modern day South Docklands) are reclaimed through a program me of long-term channel dredging by the Harbour Commissioners starting in the 1820s. Dredged silt is deposited behind the Navigation Wall.

1840

In the 1840s a public park is planned for the reclaimed marshlands, which opens during the 1850s as the “City Park”.In 1869 Sir John Arnott leases lands within the “City Park” to establish a racecourse. Regular race meetings are held until 1917, when the racecourse closes to make way for the new Ford Factory.

1847

From 1847 to 1850, the Cork-Passage railway line is constructed(operating continuously until 1932, when competition from motorised buses forces its closure). Other inter-urban rail expansion in 1856 sees the Great Southern & Western Railway company open anew passenger building and train shed at Penrose Quay, later replaced in 1893 by the larger, more modern Kent Station.

1858

In 1858, Cork Harbour Rowing Club is founded. A split in 1868 sees the founding of Queens College Rowing Club, who build their first boathouse at The Marina in 1871. In 1877, Queens College RC change their name to Shandon Boat Club (owing to a lack of “college men”in the club), and in 1896 the initial boathouse is demolished and replaced by the building still use today, designed by renowned Cork architect, James McMullen (who also designed the Honan Chapel in University College Cork).

1875

From 1875 to 1880 Cork becomes one of the first milling centres in Ireland to adopt the roller process, processing over 70,000 tons of wheat and 90,000 tons of maize annually. Multiple well-equipped millsare constructed during this time, including the Cork National Flour Mills complex at Cork’s south docks in 1892.

1890 -1976

In early 1890s, Cork County Board first holds Gaelic games within the Cork Agricultural Showgrounds. In 1903, the CCB secures a lease for six acres within the showground to build a stadium, the Cork Athletic Grounds, which opens in 1904, operating continuously until 1974, when it is demolished and rebuilt as the 50,000 capacity Páirc UíChaoimh

1917

Ford factory opens in Cork City’s South Docklands, initially producing Fordson tractors, before expansion in 1921 enables automobile production to begin. The company quickly grows its presence to 18 acres, with a 70,000 square meter production line (equivalent to seven GAA fields).

1935

Dunlop factory opens within the South Docklands, on a site leased,and subsequently purchased from Ford.The factory produces tyres, golf and tennis balls, footwear and other rubberised goods including canvas shoes with rubber soles, aka‘rubber dollies’ as they were known in Cork

1934 - 1936

Construction of a new 12,500 tonsilo and modern flour-milling complex for the Cork Milling Company (formerly Cork National Flour Mills) is completed at Victoria (now Kennedy) Quay. This modernised plant would be taken over by Odlums in 1965, until its eventual closure in 2009, after which the silos are demolished.

1945

The iconic R&H Hall grain silosare constructed at Victoria Quay, further emphasising Cork City’s position as one of the main bulk cereal handling and processing facilities of the time.

1954

ESB opens a new 60MW coal and oil-fired power generation station at the Marina, between Shandon Boat Club and the Dunlop factory. In 1964, capacity is increased to 120MW, then to 205MW in 1979, following discovery of offshore gas. By 2008, capacity has reduced to 90MW, before eventual closure of the station in 2018.

1983

Dunlop factory closes, with in excess of 850 jobs lost, less than half of the 1,800 staff employed at the factory’s peak in 1972.

1984

The Ford factory closes with the loss of more than 800 jobs, despite an investment of £10 million two years before, to convert the plant to produce the Sierra model car. The factory’s output could not compete with that of larger foreign factories.

2015-17

Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium undergoes a major upgrade,increasing capacity to 45,000

2016 –2021

The regeneration of Cork Docklands commences -€500M+ investment in new commercial developments at 1 Albert Quay, Navigation Square, Penrose Dock and HQ at Horgan’s Quay, leads to the creation of more than 5,000 jobs.

2021

Cork City Council secure €353.4 million in funding for enabling infrastructure for the redevelopment of the Cork Docklands, through the Department of Housing, Local Government &Heritage’s Urban Regeneration & Development Fund

2021

Marina Park Phase 1 opens on the site of the old Cork Agricultural Showgrounds, marking a €9.5 million public sector investment in public realm and amenity infrastructure.

2022

Opening of Phase 1 of Cork City to Passage Greenway,a high-quality recreation and commuter corridor between the SouthDocklands and Mahon tracing the route of the 19th century Cork, Blackrock, and Passage railway.

Heritage

The Cork City docklands intertwine a storied past with vibrant modernity, seamlessly integrating history and heritage into its urban fabric. Once a bustling industrial hub, the area now thrives as a living testament to its maritime legacy.

Preserved architectural remnants stand alongside contemporary structures, celebrating the city’s evolution while honoringits roots. Museums, cultural centers, and interpretive installations pay homage to the docklands’ historical significance,inviting residents and visitors alike to immerse themselves in a captivating journey through time, bridging the gap between yesterday and tomorrow.

1763

Construction of the Navigation Wall commences. For more than a century, the cut limestone wall is erected in stages,starting in 1763, reaching Barrington’s Avenue by 1846. A famine relief scheme in the late-1840s sees the Navigation Wall widened and extended to Blackrock Pier, creating a new elm tree-lined road, later named “The Marina”, after a similarly reclaimed piece of land in Palermo, Sicily.

1780

Cork Corporation prepare a master plan for the marsh land‘between the two river channels’ created by the new navigation wall to the east of the main city, referred to as ‘the South Slob’. The plan envisions a Georgian grid-style urban development, with large 90 feet wide central ‘Great Street’, a large public square to its east and a circular quay 50 feet wide.

1814

Cork Harbour Commissioners hold their first meeting in 1814 and construction of their new headquarters at Custom House is completed in 1818. The adjacent 16 bay bonded warehousing continue to be developed until 1849.

1829

In 1829, the Cork Harbour Commissioners construct a shipyard, patent slip and steam works at a site between modern day Water Street and Lower Glanmire Road. In the 1870s an enormous grid iron structure was constructed beside the slipwayat CastleviewTerrace, upon which to repair ships. At its height in the 19th& 20th centuries, Cork’s ship building industry employs almost 2,000 people.

1820 - 1830s

The “South Slob” marshlands(modern day South Docklands) are reclaimed through a programme of long-term channel dredging by the Harbour Commissioners starting in the 1820s. Dredged silt is deposited behind the Navigation Wall.

1840

In the 1840s a public park is planned for the reclaimed marshlands, which opens during the 1850s as the “City Park”.In 1869 Sir John Arnott leases lands within the “City Park” to establish a racecourse. Regular race meetings are held until 1917, when the racecourse closes to make way for the new Ford Factory.

1847

From 1847 to 1850, the Cork-Passage railway line is constructed(operating continuously until 1932, when competition from motorised buses forces its closure). Other inter-urban rail expansion in 1856 sees the Great Southern &Western Railway company open anew passenger building and trainshed at Penrose Quay, later replaced in 1893 by the larger, more modern Kent Station.

1858

In 1858, Cork Harbour Rowing Club is founded. Asplit in 1868 sees the founding of Queens College Rowing Club, who build their first boathouseat The Marinain 1871.In 1877, Queens College RCchange their name to Shandon BoatClub(owing toalack of “collegemen”in the club), and in1896 the initial boathouse is demolished and replaced by the building still use today, designed by renowned Cork architect, James McMullen(whoalso designed the Honan

1875

From 1875 to 1880 Cork becomes one of the first milling centres in Ireland to adopt the roller process, processing over 70,000 tons of wheat and 90,000 tons of maize annually. Multiple well-equipped millsare constructed during this time, including the Cork National Flour Mills complex at Cork’s south docks in 1892.

1890 -1976

In early 1890s, Cork County Boardfirst holds Gaelic games within the Cork Agricultural Showgrounds. In 1903, the CCB secures a lease for six acres within the showground to build a stadium, the Cork Athletic Grounds, which opens in 1904,operating continuously until 1974,when it is demolished and rebuilt as the 50,000 capacity Páirc UíChaoimh

1917

Ford factory opens in CorkCity’sSouth Docklands, initially producing Fordson tractors, before expansion in 1921 enables automobile production to begin.The company quickly grows its presence to 18 acres, with a 70,000 square metre production line(equivalent to seven GAA fields).

1934 - 1936

Construction of a new 12,500 tonsilo and modern flour-milling complex for the Cork Milling Company (formerly Cork National Flour Mills) is completed at Victoria (now Kennedy) Quay. This modernised plant would be taken over by Odlums in 1965, until its eventual closure in 2009, after which the silos are demolished.

1935

Dunlop factory opens within the South Docklands, on a site leased,and subsequently purchased from Ford.The factory produces tyres,golf and tennis balls, footwear and other rubberised goods including canvas shoes with rubber soles, aka‘rubber dollies’ as they were known in Cork

1945

The iconic R&H Hall grain silosare constructed at Victoria Quay,further emphasising Cork City’s position as one of the main bulk cereal handling and processing facilities of the time.

1954

ESB opens a new 60MW coal and oil-fired power generation station at the Marina, between Shandon Boat Club and the Dunlop factory. In 1964, capacity is increased to 120MW, then to 205MW in 1979,following discovery of offshore gas. By 2008, capacity has reduced to 90MW, before eventual closure of the station in 2018.

1983

Dunlop factory closes, with inexcess of 850 jobs lost, less thanhalf of the 1,800 staff employed atthe factory’s peak in 1972.

1984

The Ford factory closes with the loss ofmore than800 jobs, despite an investment of £10 million two years before, to convert the plant to produce the Sierra model car. The factory’s output could not compete with that of larger foreign factories.

2015-17

Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadiumundergoes a major upgrade,increasing capacity to 45,000

2016 –2021

The regeneration ofCorkDocklandscommences–€500M +investment in new commercialdevelopmentsat 1Albert Quay,Navigation Square, Penrose Dockand HQ at Horgan’s Quay,leads tothe creationof more than 5,000jobs.