After looking round the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, I decided to explore the UCC campus. The grounds are open to the public and there’s even a visitor centre where I was able to pick up a small booklet about the college and its buildings.
University College Cork (UCC) was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges – at Cork, Galway and Belfast – to provide access to higher education in the Irish province of Munster. Today it’s part of the National University of Ireland (NUI). Probably the most famous person associated with the College was George Boole, the inventor of Boolean logic, who was Professor of Mathematics between 1849 and 1864.
The campus is located on the edge of a picturesque limestone bluff overlooking the River Lee associated with the local early Christian saint, Finbarr and UCC’s motto is ‘Where Finbarr Taught, let Munster Learn.’
The limestone buildings of the Main Quadrangle were designed by the architectural partnership of Thomas Deane and Benjamin Woodward. A neo-Gothic complex as his was considered the most suitable style for colleges at that time, being inspired by the great medieval colleges in England.
The Visitor Centre can be found here as well as the Stone Gallery which contains an exhibition called ‘Stories in Stone’ featuring a series of Ogham Stones which are inscribed with an ancient Celtic script. Written in a series of carved lines, the collection dates back as far as the 5th to 7th centuries AD.
The Crawford Observatory was opened in 1880 and named after William Horatio Crawford, a local brewer and merchant. it was restored and re-opened in 2006
This modern building is the Áras na Mac Léinn – the Student Centre.
The President’s Garden, which lies between the east wing of he Quadrangle building and the Student Centre, was originally reserved for the exclusive use of the College President and his guests.
Officially outside the college grounds, but adjacent to the Student Centre, is the Honan Chapel. But this building deserves a post of its own.