Places of Interest
An edited version of the ‘Historical Walks Through Bandon’ by Mr Paddy Connolly
1 Main Bridge – Built in 1773 and enlarged in 1838. The site of an earlier bridge lay to the West of the current bridge.
2 Milk and Vegetable Market – This was on the site of the Allin Gardens and was in use up to 1903. It was originally built in 1881.
3 Allin Institute – Was originally donated by James Allin, a native of Youghal, for use as a Protestant recreation centre. It had three stories at one point but this was burned by the old IRA on 23rd June 1921 in reprisal for some of its members being involved in the destruction of the Maid of Erin monument in the April of that year.
4 Ragged or Penny Bun School – Located in a building adjoining the Allin Institute closer to the river.
5 Old Post Office – This building was originally built as a branch of the Provincial Bank of Ireland in 1839. When the bank merged with the Munster & Leinster bank in 1974, it changed use to that of a private residence, but this was later bought by An Post in 1985 where it was reconstructed and opened as a new Post Office. Post Office services are now available at the Bandon Shopping Centre on South Main Street.
6 Sean Hales Monument – Erected by former comrades of Sean Hales. He was the O.C. Bandon Battalion of the old IRA 1918-21, a TD in South Cork1921-22 and Brig General in the New Free State Army 1922. Another memorial once stood at this site due to a dispute over a grave in Christchurch graveyard. This memorial was later re-erected on the original grave c1909. An outline of this memorial is carved into the
top of the stone tablet on the eastern wall of the bridge.
7 Gap between Post Office and building west of it – The old town wall passed through this site and the gate known as Watergate was in the centre of the roadway. This gate did not have a castle or gatehouse similar to the other three town gates.
8 West Cork Heritage Centre – Also known as Christ Church. Built in 1610 on the site of Carews Old Fort. It is the oldest surviving post reformation church in Ireland. The present tower and steeple were erected in 1856. There were many splendid memorials in this Church. The oldest being that to Richard Croft, builder of a portion of the Town Wall and Burgess of the Corporation in 1613, who died in 1629. The church was deconsecrated in 1973 and some of its’ furnishings were moved to St Peters, as well as Crofts memorial.
9 Church Lane North – The original entrance to Christ Church and is the only spot to have remained constant since the town was founded.
10 The Shambles or Meat Market – Built by the Devonshires in 1818 to replace the North Market House (built in 1754 according to O’Donoghue’s Book). It had 22 stalls rented out to individual traders, a veterinary office and a market jury room. This fifteen sided building is a rare find in Ireland today.
11 Maid of Erin (Once on the main bridge) – The Bandon ’98 Centenary Memorial was erected on Bandon Bridge in 1901 on the foundation stone laid on 26th December 1989 which still remains on the bridge. The statue was pulled down in April 1921 and the shattered pieces were dumped in the river. A new figure of Italian marble on a column of Dublin granite was erected on the original plinth. The monument was dismantled and re-erected at its site in May 1986.
12 Hamilton High School – Houses built for the Duke of Devonshire as the nucleus of a square in 1810, occupied as private dwellings and a portion of it by Bandon Grammar School from 1837 to 1957 when the school was moved to a new premises at Richmount. The school portion was bought by Sean Hamilton in 1958 and the other houses during the subsequent 7 years to make up the present school campus.
13 Kingdom Hall – Built in 1835 as the Bandon Savings Bank and survived until 1890 when the building became the Masonic Hall of Lodge ’84 or Ancient Boyne. There was a clock on the apex of its roof.
14 The Courthouse – Built in 1806 for the Duke of Devonshire who then leased it to the County Grand Jury. It was reconstructed in 1840 and again in 1886. It was partly burned in 1922 and reconstructed in 1927. It was again refurbished in 1989.
15 The Town Hall – The Hall was built in 1862 and was officially opened by the Duke of Devonshire on 9th October 1863.
16 Coolfadda Mills / Brennans Mills – There was a mill on this site from the time the town was established. It was in turn a Grist Mill, Wool Mill, Cotton Mill, and Flour Mill.Messrs Allman & Dowden had a new mill built in the 1860’s . On the outbreak of WW1 a shortage of flour was anticipated by Joseph Brennan and he leased Coolfadda Mills. When America entered the war in 1917 there was a great demand for oatflakes to feed the troops and Brennan began to manufacture and continued to do so for 50 years up to the time the Mill was burned in 1968.
17 The Footbridge – The present bridge was constructed in 1908 by John Buckley. It replaced a timber bridge built in 1853.
18 Stores for Kelleher’s Agricultural Supplies – The slated section was once the Unitarian Presbyterian Church (1813 – 1908), then became a bakery owned by different groups until 1971.
19 Kelleher’s Agricultural Supplies – This beautiful stone built store was once the goods store of the Cork and Bandon and successive Railway Companies.
20 County Council offices – Built in 1894 as the passenger station of the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway replacing the station built in 1848.
21 Old Allmans Distillery – Established in 1825 by George Allman. The output varied from 200,000 gallons of whiskey by 1860 to 600,000 gallons in 1886. Power was provided by a giant 36ft in diameter waterwheel that was 8 ft wide. There was also a steam engine. The company did a lot of its foreign trade through Kilmacsimon
Quay. The introduction of prohibition in the US had a terrible effect on the business.
22 War of Independence Memorial – A memorial dedicated to the memory of those who fought and died in Ireland’s War of Independence.
23 Bandon District Hospital – Built in 1928 on the site of Bandon Workhouse, itself built in 1841 to accommodate 900 persons and over the following 4 years had between 4,000 and 5,000 inmates.
24 Bandon Fire Station – Based on the site of the old West Cork Bottling Company. Prior to this, Preston’s Timber Yard was on this site. There also stood the Bandon Dispensary and fever Hospital was on an elevated site at the rear of the station.
25 Munster Arms Hotel – Gen Michael Collins had his last meal here on the evening he was killed at Beal na mBlath on 22nd August 1922. The western part of this was the Charitable Repository and Female School of Industry established in 1814 and continued up to 1881 when it became Ballymodan Girls National School.
26 Irishtown Bridge – Built in 1864 to replace a bridge built by a Mr John Lodden in 1636. Immediately west of this bridge was the East Gate of Bandonbridge. Adjoining this site was the site house in which George Bennett, Historian of Bandonbridge and Bandon Oregon was born.
27 Foundation Stone – The foundation stone of the 1898 memorial was laid on 26th December 1898. The Gaslamp standard on this site is one of the originals erected by the Gas Commission in 1835
28 Methodist Church (Wesleyan Church) – Built in 1821 to replace a Meeting House. The inside of this church has remained the same since its creation and is of great architectural significance.
29 Bridge – This bridge was built in 1858 to replace one built by John Lodden in 1636.
30 Public car park – The Earl of Cork once had an Alms house on this site. It was later turned into a sawmill and timber yard by the Pope family in 1840 and later the Harte family from 1928 to 1984.
31 Old Potato Market – On the site now occupied by a supermarket in the Bandon Shopping Centre. It was established in 1620 and continued up to 1950. A cinema was built nearby in 1926.
32 South Market House – The Library is now situated on this site. It was originally built in 1620 and contained Municipal offices, a Courthouse and Market Jury room. The area was once used for church services and in more recent times, used as a garage from 1923.
33 St Peter’s Church – Built on the site of a former church, this church was designed by John Welland of Dublin. The foundation stone was laid on 9th March 1847 and consecrated on 30th August 1849. The only surviving council book of the Old Bandon Corporation is preserved within the Church. The old town walls forms its western and southern boundaries and the remains of a flanker tower can be seen at the south
western junction. A lot more interesting facts about St Peters is available on the bandon.ie website.
34 The Old Town Wall – At the rear of the Garda Station there stands some of the best preserved sections of the old Bandon Town Wall. North of the Garda Station is another section of the wall. It contains a tower by the river and a small section was crudely rebuilt in 1980. Across the river is what looks like a small island
overgrown with trees and vegetation. This is the base of another tower.
35 McSwiney Quay – Built by the Duke of Devonshire in 1807. Along this roadway it was proposed to build a canal from Innishannon to Dunmanway. When the roadway was constructed, culverts were built to facilitate those who had established rights to water animals at the river. These openings can still be seen on the quay wall.
36 St Patrick’s Church – The foundation stone was laid on 17th March 1856 and was formerly opened on 9th June 1861. Some of the stained glass windows in the church were donated by families as memorials. The West Cork Railway Company had a right of way through a section of the church grounds. A new entrance and steps was created in 1883. The church bell was donated by James P Murphy, Brewer of Cork in 1895.
A lot more interesting facts are available on the bandon.ie website.
37 Charlie Hurley GAA park – Formerly the lawn and gardens of Clancool House and bought by Bandon Hurling and Football Club in 1953.
38 Kingston Buildings – Built in 1802 and leased as a Militia Barracks up to 1873. These buildings have also been used as houses, a barracks again, a Free State Army Billet, a technical school and again as private houses.
39 Sealey’s Brewery -Was operating in the 1780’s.An original arch still standing marks the entrance to the yard. TheWest Gate of Bandon stood here. The laneway between the houses on the northern side of the road was where the Town Wall passed through. The line of it can be traced up through Ballymodan graveyard.