Cathedral / Shandon Area of Cork
The Cathedral /Shandon area is the most historic area of Cork City. It was the heart of the Irish beef trade and the centre of the Worldwide butter trade, based in the Cork Butter Exchange.
The area has a host of historic buildings, some still performing the function for which they where built many centuries ago, such as Skiddy’s Almhouse, St. Anne’s Shandon, and of course the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne. Others, like the Firkin Crane, have found new life as cultural centers.
In the 13th Century, the North Gate Drawbridge formed one of the entrances to the trading centre of Cork. The street established by the Anglo-Normans to give access to the North Gate Drawbridge was originally known as Mallow Lane and is shown on the earliest maps of the city. It is now known as Shandon Street, a street steeped in memories and history; from the famous Bells of Shandon to the long established Buckley’s Drapery, which appears on a 1690 map of Cork as a wooden cabin. locals identify with this particular street due to its characteristically old qualities. The steep ascent from the bridge to the Cathedral at the top was, and still is, a test of stamina of Northsiders as they make their way home after shopping in the city. The different architectural styles seem to reflect on the street’s, and also on Cork’s, long history. In 1737 a local wrote that the street had “by various acts …branched itself into such business as almost overtops its mother”.