Origins of Cork- Evening Lecture Series

stpeters cork
stpeters cork

Origins of Cork- Evening Lecture Series

Date: Tuesdays from 16th Jan

Place: St Peter's Cork

Tickets: Free Entry

It is with great pleasure that St Peter’s Cork have teamed up with the Department of Archaeology in UCC to deliver a series of animated talks on the history of Cork, entitled The Origins of Cork.

We will be hosting a a free lecture every Tuesday evening from 16th January for six weeks. Each evening, a new expert will sit with us to discuss a fascinating aspect of our city’s history.

With the great support of Professor William O’Brien we will be welcoming some excellent speakers to discuss specialist areas of our history. The full schedule is below and we invite you to join us in the deep midwinter, to sit around St Peter’s Cork and listen to rich stories of Cork City’s heritage.

Space is limited so please do arrive early for each talk, every event starts at 5pm sharp. We look forward to welcoming you there. For further queries on these lectures, please contact Eileen O’Shea, Programme and Event Manager at St Peter’s via email:

A series of illustrated public talks in January and February 2018 start at 5pm sharp on following Tuesdays:

16th January.  William O’Brien ‘A prehistory of Cork’

There has been a continuous human presence in the Cork region over the past 10,000 years. Most of this long period belongs to prehistory, the time before written records, which ended more or less with the arrival of Christian literacy from the fifth century AD. This talk reviews the archaeology of prehistoric people in the county of Cork, looking at their settlements and monuments, material culture and economy, social relations and religious beliefs.

William O’Brien is Professor of Archaeology in University College Cork

23rd January. Tomas Ó Carragáin ‘What might St Finbarr’s monastery have looked like?’

Long before the Vikings arrived, St Finbarr’s monastery was one of the most important settlements in early medieval Munster. Little evidence survives for its layout, appearance or scale, however. Using parallels from Ireland and abroad, this talk considers the sorts of buildings that might have stood at the site and the sorts of activities that might have taken place there. Through analogy, and a little imagination, the talk aims to give the audience a better understanding of this important but elusive phase in the city’s development.

Tomas Ó Carragáin is a lecturer in Archaeology in University College Cork.

30th January.  Maurice Hurley ‘The ‘origins and early development of Cork City’

Cork owe its urban origins to the influence of the Vikings; whereby seafaring Scandinavian people were instrumental in transferring influence from Britain and the Western European seaboard to Ireland. The earliest urban settlement in Ireland (Dublin) dates to the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. Settlement of undisputed urban character are archaeologically proven in Cork and Waterford by the mid eleventh century. The archaeological evidence stands in contrast to our traditional interpretation of historical sources which place the founding of the Viking ports in the early tenth century.

Maurice Hurley is a consultant archaeologist in private practice based in Cork.


6th February.  Rose Cleary ‘Archaeological excavations at South Main Street’

The Department of Archaeology, UCC, has been involved in Cork City Archaeology for over 40 years. Beginning in 1974 with excavations at Skiddy’s Castle, North Main Street, and in the more recent past on the former site of Sir Henry’s Nightclub on South Main St. The lecture on February 6th takes a look back at some of these excavations and will focus on the results from the 2004–5 excavation of the Sir Henry’s site.

Rose Cleary is a lecturer in Archaeology in University College Cork.

13th February.   Clare McCutcheon ‘Pottery and trade connections in Medieval Cork’

Pottery recovered from excavations conducted by the Department of Archaeology, UCC, the City Council, and commercial archaeology illuminate the trade connections between Cork, Britain and the Continent. It also provides a bridge between the medieval and post-medieval periods. This talk will highlight some of the exciting, unusual, as well as standard items.

Clare McCutcheon is a researcher of medieval and post-medieval pottery from Irish excavations.

20th February.  Colin Rynne ‘The early industrial heritage of Cork city’

From 1991–93 the speaker was Director of the Royal Irish Academy’s Industrial Archaeological Survey of Cork City and its Environs, which was published in 1999. In this talk he re-examines some of the main findings of this survey, in the light of recent evidence, and evaluates how the city has come to appreciate its industrial heritage over the last 25 years.

Colin Rynne is a senior lecturer in Archaeology in University College Cork.


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The Origins of Cork- a series of lectures on the rich history of Cork City

These events are a proud partnership between St Peter's Cork and University College Cork.

All events are free of charge and all are very welcome.


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St. Peter's Cork
N Main St
Cork, City in the Republic of Ireland H62 DV76

Telephone: (021) 427 8187