Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Historical, Social
In Use As
1740 - 1760
Attached multiple-bay three-storey former foundling hospital, built c.1750, forming eastern flank of quadrangle which constituted the original hospital with the central pedimented carriage archway to front (east) elevation. Now in use as administrative buildings for brewery. Pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystack and cast-iron gutters on moulded eaves course. Smooth rendered walls to front (east) elevation and ground floor west elevation with rubble sandstone to first and second floor of west elevation. Round-headed carriage arch, having ashlar limestone surround with pilasters flanking opening supporting frieze and pediment. Limestone archivolt with keystone and cut limestone stringcourse to springing of arch. Metal double gates surmounted by radiating metal railings. Smooth render soffit to carriage arch tunnel. Limestone surround to west end. Square-headed window openings with red brick lintels, concrete sills and two-over-two timber sash windows with replacement timber casement windows to second floor. Ground floor windows to front elevation having cast-iron window guards. Camber-headed window openings at rear elevation, ground floor. Square-headed door openings to rear (west) elevation having recent timber and glazed doors. Square-headed door openings to ground floor storage areas having recent timber sheeted double doors. Street-fronted.
This building is a fascinating survivor from Cork’s eighteenth and nineteenth century social history. The foundling hospital is a moving reminder of the fate of many of Cork’s poorest who were forced to abandon their children at the gate of this imposing, even forbidding, building. The large recess of the carriageway provided a discreet entrance for parents to deposit their children. In 1854 the former hospital complex was taken over by Murphy’s brewery and one hundred and fifty years later the building remains in use as office accommodation for the brewery.