OUR CITY, OUR TOWN
AN INTRODUCTION TO CORK HISTORY
Education Course (2002-2014)
C/O Cork Education Support Centre
Tutor: Kieran McCarthy
This course is an introduction to Cork History and will present several aspects of the Core Strand Framework of the Primary History Curriculum in a local context. The course is only for teachers as part of continuous professional development with the Cork Education Support Centre and the Department of Education.
Key local historic issues such as everyday life, society, work and culture (e.g. home life, literature, technologies, group relationships) in Cork’s past will be explored. In particular, Early Christian Cork, Viking Age Cork, the Anglo-Norman walled town of Cork (Cork’s Medieval World) and Georgian –Victorian Cork will be examined.
This course will discuss ideas on how to present Cork local history to students in particular in senior classes. What issues should a teacher and student first explore when approaching the study of Cork History ? What are the local historic issues that are most relevant to the history curriculum in senior classes ? What are the key historic issues that have formed the modern city of Cork ?
(A2) Aims of Course:
This course comprises lectures, fieldtrips and workshops, and explores key historical issues in Cork’s development. A successful course should provide the teacher with:
· Increased self-awareness of the importance of identity, respect, and how to develop a sense of place for one’s city.
· Provision of an up-to-date appraisal of the time-scale of the physical, social and cultural development of Cork City and surrounding areas.
· Provision of several ideas on how to pursue local history in the classroom – through use of the lecture notes; workshop outcomes; how to use Cork History in the context of the wider primary school history curriculum.
· Above all, the teacher should see why local history is purposeful; how it can add to the identity of the child and provides the child with enthusiasm, appreciation, sense of place and pride for one’s home area.
(A3) Methodology of Course:
The cores themes of this summer course are addressed in my own Inside Cork History Column, Our City, Our Town and associated books, e.g Discover Cork (O’Brien Press); and in my locally co-ordinated Discover Cork: School’s Heritage Project, which provides a base for the completion of projects on any aspect of Cork’s past in Cork City and County schools.
The delivery of the lectures will be aided by the use of a large personal slide collection on aspects of Cork’s past along with maps, overheads and local history projects from the latter mentioned school’s history project. Handouts and full bibliography on other sources will be provided. The fieldtrips and workshops will also offer further context to the course.
(A4) Content of Course:
20 hours – 5 days @ 4 hours each day to include lectures and four field-trips / walking tours
– Introduction, Early Christian and Viking Age Cork
Morning Session – Classroom, 9.30-11.30 a.m.:
(1a) Introduction, aims, methodology and content of course
(1b) Exploring values and practice in heritage
(1c) Cork History: Issues within the public educational arena
(1d) Revised Primary School Curriculum – Context of local studies
(1e) Case Study: Discover Cork: School’s Heritage Project
(1f) Helpful Resources
Afternoon Session– Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:
(1f) Early Christian Period and St. FinBarre
(1g)Viking Cork: History, settlement and society
– Early Christian Cork Fieldtrip
plus Introduction to the Anglo-Norman Walled Town of Cork
Morning Session –Fieldwork, meeting at St. FinBarre’s Cathedral at 9.30 a.m.( to 11.30 a.m.):
(2a) Early Christian Cork – Discussion, and walking tour of St. FinBarre’s Cathedral; Viking Cork – Barrack Street, South Main Street (Viking Settlement)
Afternoon Session –Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:
Introduction to the Walled Town of Cork:
(2b) The advent of the Anglo Normans and the creation of the Walled Town of Cork; archaeology of walls, towers, streets, houses.
The Walled Town of Cork: Further Characteristics
Plus Medieval Cork Fieldtrip
Morning Session – Medieval Cork Fieldtrip – Meeting at Chorus Multi Channel, Georges Quay at 9.30 a.m.( to 11.30 a.m.):
(3a) Discussion on St. Nicholas Church, Red Abbey, South Gate Drawbridge,
South Main Street, Christ Church, Crosses Green, Bishop Lucey Park, Castle Street, North Main Street, St. Peter’s Church, Skiddy’s Castle Site, and Kyrl’s Quay.
Afternoon Session– Classroom 12-2 p.m.:
The Walled Town of Cork – Further Characteristics:
(3b) General history, trade, merchants, tower houses, abbeys
(3c) Seventeenth century politics, King Henry VIII, Elizabethan Wars, Elizabeth
Fort, James I, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Charles II, James II, Siege of Cork 1690
Eighteenth Century Cork: Expansion and Reclamation plus
Nineteenth Century Cork: Emergence of the Modern Cityscape
Morning Session– Georgian Cork Fieldtrip; meeting at the Gate Cinema, at 9.30 a.m. (to 11.30 a.m.):
(4a) Fieldtrip highlighting eighteenth and nineteenth century Cork; discussion on
Shandon, Butter Market, St. Patrick’s Bridge, Crawford Art Gallery
Afternoon Session– Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:
Victorian Cork / Cork in the 1800s:
(4b) Act of Union, Era of Napoleonic Wars, typhoid and cholera epidemics, buildings and churches, Fr. Mathew, Impact of Great Famine in Cork
(4c) Post Famine churches and monuments, railways, slums
(4d) Re-imagining Cork: Photographing Cork 100 years ago
– Fieldtrip highlighting features of Nineteenth Century Cork
plus Twentieth Century Cork
Morning Session: Classroom (to 11.30 a.m.):
Cork in the 1900s:
(5a) 1900 to 1950 – slums, politics, 1926 Civic Survey, Suburban developments in
the 1930s -Gurranabraher, Turners Cross, Ballinlough, 1944 Manning
(5b) 1950 to beyond 2009 – Suburban developments – Lough, Ballyphehane,
Farranree, social housing, Cork Corporation development plans, Land Utilisation and Transport Study, Cork Area Strategic Plan
(5c) Reflections and Conclusions
Afternoon Session– Trip to Cork City Gaol, 12-2 p.m.:
(5d) Field trip to Cork City Gaol Heritage Centre; Meeting at the Heritage Centre, 9.30 a.m. (to 11.30 a.m.)
Kieran McCarthy B.A.,MPhil.
On behalf of Cork Education Support Centre, http://www.cesc.ie/
The following notes were compiled from group workshops during the summer courses for July 2009-11
Workshop Question: What defines Cork as a place?
River valley, by its inhabitants/ people
Past & current history
Location (south of Ireland)
Influence of foreigners, Huguenots, Viking, Spanish, English etc
Christian influences (St. Finbarr, nuns, Christian brothers)
University city / town
Trade and merchants
Industry, e.g. Fords/ Dunlops, Butter Exchange etc.
Sport, GAA modern success – Rugby
Sport – hurling/ football/ rugby/ athletic
Traditions – bonfire night
Water! A wet place
Superiority complex of people
The real capital
People’s Republic of Cork
Beamish & Murphy’s
Tripe and Drisheen
Skirts and Kidneys
Tradition of Music
Famous people – Jack Lynch, Roy Keane, Jimmy Barry Murphy, Christy Ring
West Cork Countryside – its affects on the city
Shandon, St. Finbarre’s & Churches
Cha & Miah
Limestone & Sandstone
Coat of arms
Very strong sense of place – loyalty/ pride/ arrogance
North/ south divide
Workshop Question: If Cork was a type of person, what type of person would it be?
sense of humour,
Open and closed
Criminal activity rising
Church going (change)
Loud / hyper
Workshop Question: Early Origins & St. Finbarrr
Who were his parents?
What was his original name?
Who renamed him?
What was his new name?
What did his new name mean?
Where was one of St. Finbarr’s original oratories?
Where would find the source of the Lee
How did he get to Cork?
What was the landscape like?
Was Cork a good place to settle? (Pros and cons?)
What was the original name of Cork?
What were the houses made of?
What food did the people east?
How do we know?
Why are some of Cork’s buildings constructed of limestone and some of sandstone? Give examples of buildings built of both?
Can you name four/ five Cork places called after St. Finbarre – associated with St. Finbarre?
What is St. Finbarre’s feast day?
From what you know of him describe the kind of man St. Finbarre must have been? (strong, determined/ leader…?)
Workshop Question – Viking Age Cork:
When were the first Viking raids on Cork?
How frequently were the Viking raids?
Where can one see an example of a Round Tower?
How do we know that Viking Children played games – what type of games?
Did the Vikings eat well in Cork – prove? What food stuffs made up their Viking diet?
How they overcome flooding?
Why did people die so young?
If you as a child travelled back to Viking times in Cork – what would you like most of all / dislike most of all.
What tools/ materials did the Vikings used to build their homes?
What was wattle and daub?
Name some streets, places in cork with Viking names?
Name some other Viking settlements in Ireland
What evidence of trading has been found?
Look at a Viking map & a modern map of cork and see what they have in common?
What new ways of life/ technologies did the Vikings bring to Ireland (farmin/ house building…)
Describe a Viking house
Possible project topics
A day in the life of Cork City – Photographic record
A model of a building / area that is due for re-development
Bridges of Cork City
Church/ Cathedrals around the city
Roadways – then & now
Port of Cork – changes
Origins of streetnames, e.g. Keyser’s Hill
Workshop Questions: St. Finbarre’s Cathedral
Where did they find a cannon ball?
Identify bible stories from the windows
Can you find family surnames you recognise on plaque?
How would you decorate pillars (v.plain)
List animals you can identify from art work – windows in church
Sketch coats of arms – suggest why there are family names on wall
Name skills used in church construction –what was the most difficult task – how did they overcome this problem
Using google – name some famous people connected with the church
Why would the “organ” problem not be a problem today?
Who was the architects and write three facts about him
What is the style?
What was his initial budget and what was its final cost?
Who were the main donors?
In what year was the Cathedral built?
Why is there gold writing on the walls?
For what cathedral was the angel designed?
For what Cathedral was the lectern designed?
Who appears on the pulpit?
What stories do the stained glass windows depict? (observe, discuss, recognise – rose windows, side windows)
What design is the window facing west?
What story does it tell?
Who sits in the oak carved throne?
Where in the Cathedral are the names of locals who died during WWI?
Where did Captain Travers and Travers die in battle?
What does the Union Jack on the Cain and Abel window symbolise?
What four types of marble were used in the construction & where did they come from?
How many organ pipes are there in the Cathedral?
Workshop – Way of life in Medieval Cork:
Q. The Way of Life in Medieval Cork – contrast how life was like then and now – Food, clothing, home, games, pastimes, education, chores???
Q. Contrast your parent’s occupation with the ones of long ago
Publican – brewer, teacher- housewife
Q. Life was very hard in medieval cork, do you agree?
No – no school?
Yes – you didn’t have a very nice house – lots of diseases, dependent on herbalists and local cures. Parents expected many of their children to die – diet limited, fruit and vegetables in short supply
Medieval town life:
What type of houses did the people live in?
Who lived in the walled town?
Who lived outside the town walls?
What type of occupations did people have?
If you had your choice of a trade, which would you choose? And why?
What games did children play?
Is there any evidence that they had pets in Medieval Cork?
How long did people live?
What did the people eat?
Design a menu for the family meals
Did the children go to school?
How did children under twelve spend its day?
What type of clothing did they wear?
What materials were used to make houses? Toys? Cooking implements? Clothes? Tools? Buttons?
What transport did they use?
What did you see at the quays every day? What kind of interesting visitors came to the port?
What was the role of the town crier/ executioner?
What was the fate of a criminal in Medieval Cork?
What were the changes in the city since the Middle Ages
Workshop – Ideas for future projects:
History of School Project
Use of newsletters
Class photographs – interview grandparents about story of the photo
Plans of extensions
Gym – before and after
Oral history from teachers
Oral histories from neighbours, parents, grandparents, invited guests, librarian, caretaker of school
Local GAA, Tennis, Rugby clubs
Farmer’s Market Project – Long ago / today
Holidays – long ago / now
Junior Infants – visit to local church, phones through the ages
6th Class – panoramic view through school windows
3rd Class – St. Luke’s / Collins Barracks,Frank O’Connor – preparation / photos, walking tour, written project
History of school
Transport in the area
Architecture in the area
Model making e.g. Shandon, School, Church, Streetscape, spries, graveyard & dates on gravestones
Pairc Ui Rinn Project
Then & Now Photographic Comparison
A week in the life of… Photographic Record
Memories of grandparents (interviews), National Grandparents Day, http://www.grandparents-day.net/index.html
Classroom visit of local historian / older persons
Investigation of past industries / occupations of the locality
Develop a local quiz as a means of imparting information to children & creating awareness
Do a project on the history of local GAA club / soccer club etc.
Classroom museum – bringing in artefacts and display
125th anniversary of GAA project
History of Cork Showgrounds, Cork Munster Agricultural Society
Port of Cork – two different eras – 50’s and modern, compare and contrast
Project on Fords, 25 years since closure
Churches of Cork
Bishop Lucey Churhces, models and sketches
Cork to Midelton train line
Bridges of Cork
Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Pastimes on River Lee
Great Exhibition 1902
Doorways / gates / entrances
Old City Walls, models/ sketches
School uniform / fashion
School equipment – nylon board, film strips, overhead projectors, interactive whiteboards
Older teachers/ younger teachers – memories, how teaching has changed
Picture from 2013 Summer Course:
Picture from 2012 Summer Course:
Pictures from 2011 Summer Course:
Pictures from 2010 Summer Course:
Pictures from July 2009 Summer Course: