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Cork City Gaol Heritage Center and Radio Museum

The proposal for a city gaol in Cork originated with an act of Parliament in 1804. The actual complex did not open to accept inmates until 1824.
  • Sir Thomas Deane, the gaol’s architect, fashioned the structure in Georgian Gothic style, and its appearance is more reminiscent of a castle than a prison complex
  • The Cork City Gaol housed a long list of inmates until it was closed in 1923
  • Inside the protective shell of its outer walls, the main building forms a shape like the letter H

Heritage Centre

  • The gaol building contains authentic furnished cells, complete with lifelike wax figures
  • Audiovisuals along the tour tell the stories of individual prisoners
  • It is said that some went mad because of the practices of isolating prisoners in an environment of complete silence, said to allow them more complete contemplation of their actions
  • The tour is available in 8 languages, and the museum offers tours and lectures for private and educational groups

Radio Museum

  • The Governor’s House, located in the center of the complex, now hosts the Radio Museum, the former headquarters of 6CK Cork Broadcasting System
  • The station opened in April of 1927 in the vacant gaol building, an optimal choice as it was secure and situated high upon a hillside
  • Another part of the building was occupied by Radio Eireann, the national public broadcaster , beginning in the 1950s

Official Site

Cork City Gaol




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