Checkpoint 5: Civic Trust House
Well done! You have found our final stop and have completed the orienteering challenge!
This is Cork’s Civic Trust House. Originally built around 1730, it is believed to be the oldest house in Cork. Reputed former residents of this house include Richard Boyle, the 4th Earl of Cork, known as the ‘Apollo of the Arts’ (though it is doubtful that he ever spent much time here). In the mid-1800s it was home to the cooper and butter merchant Henry Mault. Then for a brief period in the late nineteenth-century, the grand house was used as The County and City of Cork Hospital for Women and Children. It later became a lodging house. It began to fall into repair by the mid twentieth century and Cork City Council took over the building in the 1980s. Cork Civic Trust leased the buiding from the Council in the 90’s and began the very sensitvie restoration work that was required. Today, the building is home to a number of non-profit art companies and the Civic Trust.
Though it was built during the Georgian period, the architecture has been influenced by the Queen Anne style of the early 1700s which was just before the Georgian period. Common features of this style include sash windows flush with the brickwork and a hipped roof. Other interesting architectural features you can see include the limestone swan-neck pedimented door case. Similar to North Mall and Blarney Street, you can see the Greek influence in the use of a pediment. You will not see a swan but rather two s-shaped scrolls which are similar to a swans neck. Tthe limestone door case here is also lugged or ear style.
Look to the right of the building to see the decorated metal gutter running down the side of the building. This has been collecting rainwater from the steeply pitched roof for nearly 300 years.
The plastered building to your right was built around 1850 and was once the house stables. During Henry Mault’s time, this building was also used as a cooperage (where barrels for the city’s ale and firkins for Munster’s world-renowned butter were fashioned).
To hear about what it was like to live in this elegant building now Cork's Civic Trust visit https://corkfolklore.org/archivecatalolgue/document/155.
To find out more about the wonderful built heritage of Cork City, see https://www.corkcity.ie/en/cork-heritage-open-day/