The Cork Public Museum is located in Fitzgerald Park on Mardyke Walk along the City’s western corridor.
The museum was originally a private residence built by Charles Beamish in 1845 on land purchased from the Duke of Devonshire. Following the completion of the house the grounds (now Fitzgerald Park) were laid out with a fantastic variety of shrubs and trees.
In 1886 the house became the home of the Bons Secours Sisters. During the later 19th century it became a private residence for Mr. Barry J. Sheehan (1880) and Mr. Cornelius Desmond (1897) respectively. It was sold in 1901 to the Incorporated Cork International Association. During the Exhibitionof 1902/03 the Committee used the house for visiting dignitaries whoincluded King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.
Having been handed over to the Corporation for the people of Cork the house became a museum in 1910. Following a Historical Exhibition in 1942 the building was reopened to the public in 1945. It was administered by UCC until 1963 and since then directly by the City Council.
Below Our Feet – Cork Viking Exhibition
Come and see many fascinating Viking era artefacts recently unearthed during the excavations at the Beamish & Crawford site between 2016-2018. This exhibition traces the history of the Vikings in Cork and how they lived and survived in late 11th century Cork. The exhibition is a collaboration between Cork City Council, Cork Public Museum, the Department of Archaeology, UCC and BAM Construction. Renowned archaeologist Dr. Maurice Hurley, who directed the excavations and oversaw the exhibition’s creation, is helping to bring the latest information on the origins of Cork to all museum visitors.