Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Episodes & Podcasts

The Laneways of Medieval Cork

Episode 1 – Christchurch Lane Part 1

Episode 2 - Christchurch Lane Part 2

Episode 3 – Castle Street Part 1

Episode 4 – Castle Street Part 2

Episode 5 – Cornmarket Street Part 1

Episode 6 – Cornmarket Street Part 2

Episode 7 – Skiddy’s Castle Lane

Episode 8 – St Peter’s Church Lane

Episode 9 – Old Post Office Lane

Episode 10 – Cockpit Lane

Episode 11 – Allen’s Lane

Episode 12 – Liberty Street

Episode 13 – New Bridewell Lane

Episode 14 – Crofts' Alley

Episode 15 – St Laurence’s Lane

Episode 16 – Court Lane

Episode 17 – Meeting House Lane

Episode 18 – Hanover Street

Episode 19 – Cotteren’s Lane

Episode 20 – Broad Lane

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Laneways of Medieval Cork

Triskel Christchurch and Christchurch Lane, now incorporated into Bishop Lucey Park

The Laneways of Medieval Cork is a radio series exploring the history and development of Cork’s medieval laneways.

Meeting House Lane

Did you know there used to be a cockpit on North Main Street?
That the Munitions Storehouse at Skiddy’s Castle near North Gate Bridge once came close to being blown up by a burning rat, which had been set on fire by a local child as a prank?
That Liberty Street runs over what used to be a mill stream?
That in fact the medieval city of Cork was surrounded by water?
Have you ever heard of night filth?
Did you know that, as well as being a “House of Correction”, the Bridewell was used for storing coal?
That a tax on coal imports into the city was used to pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch in the early 18th century?
Or that Beamish & Crawford were not actually brewers?

The Beamish & Crawford Brewery on South Main Street

The Laneways of Medieval Cork is a documentary series of 20 x 5 minute radio pieces. Taking its cue from the book of the same name written by Gina Johnson - which features her own extensive research - the series features the author in on-location interviews around Cork’s medieval quarter to bring alive the history of this area.

The side gate to St Francis Church on North Main Street which commemorates the location of Broad Lane on this site

There are more than 70 documented laneways around Cork’s medieval main street (modern-day North and South Main Streets), with references dating from at least as far back as the 16th century. Most of these laneways are now covered or built over, but you can find many name plaques in the paving stones thanks to Cork City Council’s regeneration of the area in the 1990s.

A study of Cork’s medieval laneways through the centuries reveals a multitude about changing culture, behaviour and commercial activity in the city over that period, including up to the present day. Many of these lanes have changed names over the years, reflecting changes in property ownership or differing City Corporation policies. Themes emerging through the series include the rise of Cork’s merchant families, fluctuations in living standards, religious practices and settlements, the growth of an alms culture in the city, the expansion of the medieval city through reclamation of surrounding marshland and the development of the municipality of Cork. Stories of The Siege of Cork in 1690 rub shoulders with the clearing of inner-city tenements in the mid-20th century.

Castle Street

It is fascinating to draw comparisons between this history beneath our feet and the bustling retail and residential areas of modern-day North Main and South Main Streets.


Produced and Edited by Conor O’Toole
Sound Supervision by Kieran Hurley at UCC98.3FM

Contributor – Gina Johnson (Cork City Council)
Voiceover Artist – Mark D’Aughton
Music by Conor O'Toole

Series first broadcast on UCC98.3FM June 2014

For more information, e-mail conorot@eircom.net. See below for a podcast of each episode.

This programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee

*The Laneways of Medieval Cork, written by Gina Johnson, was published in 2002 by Cork City Council. This study was completed during the refurbishment of the historic centre of Cork city. Go to this link to read or download a pdf copy of the book.


Cornmarket Street

Cross Street

Hanover Street