Checkpoint 2: The Arch, Blarney St

Congratulations on reaching Checkpoint 2!



 This is Blarney Street, measuring around 1.5 km it is the longest street in Cork City. Some famous faces once lived here including the sculptor John Burke. He attended the Crawford School of Art and later created the aeroplane sculptures on the Wilton roundabout. When he died in 2006, John asked to be buried standing up in Watergrasshill graveyard so that he could face the mountains of his native County Tipperary.

 Another famous resident was Frank O’Connor, who lived in house number 251. He was known for his short stories including “Guest of the Nation” which was adapted into a film.

 You are currently standing at house number 374, known as ‘The Arch’. The ground floor is made of sandstone with light grey ashlar (square cut) limestone quoins running along the edge of the building and over the carriage archway to your left. Originally the archway’s wooden doors would have been opened by servants for horses and carriages to reach the back of the house. Carriages were never left on the street like cars are today. You would have seen a similar carriage arch at our last stop on North Mall Street.

 ‘The Arch’ was constructed in around 1740, nearly 300 years ago. Like North Mall Street, it is also Georgian in style so you will see similar features such as sash windows and an ornate doorway. The doorway here is particularly lovely and was clearly made by a skilled craftsman. The highly decorated limestone doorcase is known as a lugged or ear style because the top of the architrave extends like ears from the door. Above this, is a pointed pediment, which again shows the Georgians love for classical Greek architecture.

 The building also contains ten sash windows in the front. These windows were extremely popular in the Georgian era. Early windows had lots of small panes of glass but as glass making improved, larger individual panes could be made. The windows on street level are always the largest and most impressive. The higher windows are smaller and because the top floor was used by servants, the windows on the top floor were the smallest.

CLUE 2: With the river to your back, turn right and follow Blarney Street. At the junction, climb the hill in search of numbers 22 and 23 on Shandon Street.