St. Angela’s College is a voluntary secondary school in the heart of Cork City. Founded by the Ursuline Order in 1886 the school has a long tradition ofeducating young women. It was the first institution on the island of Ireland to offer degree courses for women, and the first student to cross the threshold, Mary Ryan, became the first female professor in the British Isles.
The school magazine from 1922 recounts a student’s dismay at the view of the smoking ruins of the city following the Black and Tans’ rampage. A maths teacher, Mary McSwiney (sister to Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney) was arrested in the middle of one of her classes for her involvement in the Republican movement.
Over its 125 year history as a school, the fabric of the building inevitably deteriorated. The school began a development plan in 1997, and the architectural team of O’Donnell+Twomey won the contract to design a new school on this very steep and challenging site. The new school is a hidden jewel at the centre of the city. Old and new buildings blend to create an environment that is full of light, space and surprises. The historic buildings have been restored lovingly to their former beauty, and the new buildings frame and hug them in a manner that only enhances their elegance. Natural materials like Cork red sandstone combine with cutting edge technology and design. The entire school decamped to temporaryaccommodation in September 2013 and the first sod was turned during the Springof 2014. Students and teachers returned to their ‘home on the Hill’ in January 2016.
The development has won a number of awards including;
2016 RIBA Award for International Excellence
2016 RIAI Best Education Building Award
2017 AAI Award
2017 Irish Concrete Society, Building Category and Overall Winner
St. Angela’s won the overall prize in the Cork Better Building Awards from the Cork Business Association and Cork City Council this year.
Guided Tours of St Angela’s College will take place at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm
Booking essential for all guided tours of St Angela’s College.
See www.corkheritageopenday.ie/events for tickets.