Cork Baptist Church

Address:46 MacCurtain Street

Open 1pm to 5pm

There has been a Baptist Church in existence in Cork since the 17th century. It was originally organised by Mr. & Mrs. Edward Riggs of Rigsdale, Ballinhassig. Mr. Riggs was MP for Bandon and a Commissioner of the Peace.

The church met at different locations throughout the city during its history, starting in Coleman’s Alley in the Cornmarket Street area. The first building was erected in Mill Street, afterwards known as Fishamble Lane, now Liberty Street. This building was subsequently used by the Augustinians while their own chapel was being built. In 1759 an old map of Cork shows the Franciscans occupying the building, with a statue of St. Francis marking the site.

The second building was on the south east marsh, commonly called Dunscombe Marsh, now Marlboro Street. This is now the location of the Cork YMCA. The present building was opened in King Street, now MacCurtain Street in 1892.

The front elevation of the church has a brickwork facade, while the other walls are constructed from random rubble masonry. The roof is supported by pitch pine queen post trusses. Its main architectural features are the unusual tower and carving over the entrance, the pitch pine doors with ornate metal work, and the leaded windows facing the street. In 1908 electricity was installed in the building at a cost of 9 pounds, which was paid in 12 instalments of 15 shillings! In 1979 the upper floor was constructed to allow for greater use of the building through the provision of extra facilities downstairs.

Internal features of interest include the pulpit, the table located in front of the pulpit upstairs and the baptistery located in the main hall downstairs.