Updated 12 Apr 2001
Submitted by Sheri Delaney and posted here with her kind permission.
Cove of Cork is a seaport in the parishes of Clonmel and Templerobin, barony of Barrymore, county of Cork, 10 miles E.S.E. from the city of Cork; situated on the south side of Great Island, the extent of which is five miles from east to west, and two from north to south, communicating with the mainland by two ferries-East and West Passage. This charmingly situated town overlooks and almost literally overhangs the spacious basin of Inner Cork Harbour, and occupies the steep and southern face of a hill, rising terrace above terrace, from near the edge of the water to a considerable height in the acclivity. The principal streets are wide and commodious, and the houses regularly built. Within the last thirty years, the town has greatly increased in dimensions, population and importance and there are now some excellent houses building on the property of Smith Barry, Esq. calculated for the accommodation of the most respectable families. An interesting work on Ireland and its towns thus speaks of Cove. 'Previous to the North American war of independence, Cove consisted of little more than the mud cabins of a few fishermen.' In 1750, Doctor Smith described it as 'a village built under a steep hill, inhabited by seamen and revenue officers.' In 1752, John Wesley recorded that 'there was nothing to be bought there-neither fish nor flesh, nor butter, nor cheese, and that he was obliged to be well contented with some eggs and bread.' In 1769, it is said there was not a baker's shop in the place and even so late as 1797, it was characterized by Mr. Holmes, the tourist, as 'a wretched, dirty place, inhabited chiefly by sailors and fishermen.'
How great the contrast at the present day! It now boasts handsome ranges of houses, well-stored shops, elegant hotels, convenient lodging houses, an intelligent population and above all, an active trade. Provisions of nearly all kinds are cheap, and articles of a more luxurious kind are obtained with facility from Cork-with which a communication is constantly maintained by steam vessels. The work above referred to says, 'The weekly exhibitions of the yacht club' (which we shall have occasion to notice more particularly hereafter), 'the annual regatta, the occasional arrival of the fleet, the magnificence of the circumjacent scenery, and the picturesqueness of the town itself, attract great crowds of gay visitors during the summer; and the salubrity of the climate, the comparative equality of the temperature, the dryness of the air, and even the power of fame and fashion bring hither not a small number of consumptive patients and other classes of invalids.' Indeed, the climate has been found by comparison to be more equable and mild that that of any part of England or France, and to equal that of the south of Europe, even Rome and Naples.
Cove is admirably situated and suited for the scene of extensive commerce. The harbour is formed on one side by Great Island and on the other by the mainland and Spike Island, which form an oval basin sufficiently capacious to contain and shelter the whole navy of England, protected by a formidable battery on Spike Island, and the entrance further defended by the Carlisle and Camden forts, which frown from the summit of two lofty cliffs on either side. Lord Midleton, one of the proprietors of the land, is about to expend a large sum in the construction of a quay, the whole length of White-point, which, when completed, will form one of the most extensive and lovely esplanades in Ireland. Other additions and improvements are projected by this spirited nobleman; terraces, handsome houses, baths, a hotel and a new church. The banks on each side of the harbour are occupied by seats and tasteful grounds of the gentry, or the opulent merchants of Cork.
The trade of Cove, exclusive of a good retail business, consists of exports and imports-the latter comprising timber, coal, guano, and various goods; among the former a large quantity of stores for the army and navy. It is the great port for the embarkation of troops to Canada and the Colonies and also the great southern station for government emigration, for which latter purpose there is an efficient agent stationed here. There are four principal hotels, all which are admirably conducted in their arrangements for families or commercial gentlemen; their names and location appear in the directory.
Opposite the Market-place is the handsome promenade called the Columbine-quay, built at a great expense by the late James Smith Barry, Esq. the use of which is enjoyed by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, at their annual regatta-the gayest and best supported of any display of the kind in Ireland; the prizes are often large, and contended for with great emulation and spirit. In the centre of the beach is the Yacht Club House, for the accommodation of the numerous and respectable members, who meet once a week during the summer season, the fleet then generally going to sea for some hours under the command of the 'Admiral of the day.' This club, which is of greater antiquity than any other in England or Ireland, was founded in 1720 under the title of the 'Cork Harbour Water Club,' of which an account was published in 1765. It changed its name to the Cork Yacht Club in 1828 and, under the patronage of William IV, became the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 1830. It is governed by a president and admiral, the Most Noble the Marquees of Thomond; a vice-admiral, Jas. Hugh Smith Barry, Esq., and a general committee, which consists of the leading members and yacht owners; a sailing committee, all of whom are yacht owners, and a house committee, who manage the internal arrangements of the club house. There are also an honorary chaplain, a treasurer and a secretary.
The government of the town is chiefly vested in the local magistrates; and the Cork Harbour Board have likewise a certain jurisdiction; petty sessions are held every fortnight. There are stations of the constabulary police and coast guard, the latter under an inspecting commander always resident, having the charge of seven districts in and about the harbour.
The church of the united parishes of Clonmel and Templerobin is a handsome structure, but not sufficiently capacious for the congregation, which is rapidly increasing. The Roman Catholic chapel is large, with a handsome tower and belfry; there is also a second chapel at Fennah. The other places of worship are for Wesleyan Methodists and Presbyterians.
The principal benevolent institutions comprise the schools under the national board, parochial, and for infants; a fever hospital, a dispensary and parochial almshouse. There are also loan and charitable coal funds, and a benevolent society for poor tradesmen. Somewhat to the east of Cove is a fine fort, over which is the military hospital, formerly the barracks.
In a cemetery surrounding the ruins of Clonmel Church, a short distance from Cove, lie the remains of Tobin, the author of the Honey Moon, and Woolfe, the author of the pathetic and beautiful verses upon the death of Sir John Moore-they sleep together, and were alike unconscious of their fame-it being, in both cases, posthumous.
There is no fair at Cove; but a daily market for fish, vegetables and various commodities is held in the market-house, a convenient and handsome building, erected by the late J. Smith Barry, Esq. The market, especially on Saturday, is abundantly supplied.
The parishes of Clomel and Templerobin contained together by the census taken in 1841 - 9,955 inhabitants, and the town of Cove 5,142 of that number.
POST OFFICE, Midleton's quay, Jane Ensor, Post Mistress.-Letters from all parts arrive (by mail cart from Cork) every morning during summer at half-past nine and afternoon at half-past four, in winter morning at ten and evening at six; and are despatched during the summer at a quarter before six in the morning and afternoon at one, and in winter at six in the morning and afternoon at twenty minutes before two.
**Nobility, Gentry and Clergy**
Armstrong, Mrs. Wilhelmina, Spy Hill
Ashlon, Mrs Dorah, Clarence Place
Atkings, Rev. Walter Baker, Roche's Rw
Atkinson, Thomas, Esq., Haulbowline Island
Bagwell, Mrs. Margaret, Merville
Barry, John Thomas, Esq. The Beach
Barry, Mrs. Mary, Abbeymore
Barry, Thomas, Esq., Ross League
Barry, William, Esq., Ross League
Bastable, Mrs. Lucius, 6 Bellevue Terr.
Burke, Edward, Esq., Harbour View
Burke, Mrs. Eliza, King St.
Butler, Lieut. Thos. Lapp, Church Hill
Byrne, Miss Honoria Ann, Graham's Terrace
Carding, Miss Margaret, 1 Bellevue Terrace
Cashell, George, Esq., Lynche's Quay
Church, Lieut. William, R.N., King St.
Coppinger, Mrs. Elizabeth, The Beach
Crotty, Right Rev. Bartholomew, C.B., Church Hill
Cunningham, Michael, Esq., Wellington Place
Delehay, Mrs. Mary, Spy Hill
Dunn, Mrs. ___, Spy Hill
Edwin, Capt. Felix, R.N., 7 Bellevue Terrace
England, Rev. Thos, Clarence Place
Fitzpatrick, Mrs. ___, The Beach
Fowler, Mr John, East Beach
French, the Misses, The Retreat
French, Samson T.W. Esq., Cusqulany
French, Thoas George, Esq., Marino
Friend, Lieut. Charles, R.N., Spy Hill
Gailey, Rev. James, Bishop's Road
Graham, Mrs. Eliz., Graham's Terrace
Green, Francis, Esq., Spy Hill
Gregory, Mr. Richd., 36 Harbour Row
Hare, George, Esq., The Beach
Hayes, Mr Artwell, 2 Belleview Terrace
Holmes, Robert, Esq., Beach mount
Kelly, the Misses Margaret, Fanny, Mary, and Judith, Spy Hill
Kinnears, Mr. John, The Beach
Kinnears, Mrs. Eliza, The Beach
Mahony, Michael Edward, Esq., 33 Harbour Row
Malony, Henry, Esq., East Hill
Matson, Captain ___, R.N., Harbour Hill
Meredith, Mrs. Elizabeth, East Beach
Murphy, Hon. John, Lynche's Quay
Murphy, Rev. Timothy, Clarence Pl.
Nash, Rev. Thos. Edmund, Bell mount
Nicholls, John W. Esq, King's Terrace
O'Brien, __, Esq., Spy Hill
O'Driscoll, Mrs. Sarah, Graham's Terrace
O'Regan, Rev. Patrick Daignan, Clarence Place
Pigot, Sir Hugh, Knight, and K.C.H. Admiralty House
Ring, Simon Magus, Esq., Ringville
Roche, Mrs. Agnes, 3 Bellevue Terrace
Rose, Mrs. Ann, Rose Hill
Scott, James, Esq., Hill House
Scully, Miss Honoria, Graham's Terr.
Seymour, Henry, Esq., Harbour View
Smythe, Lieut. George, R.N., Admiralty House
Spread, George, Esq., 5 Harbour Hill
Spread, Captain John Matthias, R.N., Hill House
Stubbs, Captain Thomas, Fort Lisle
Taylor, Lieut. Walker, R.N., Graham's Terrace
Urquhart, Lieut. John, R.N., 15 Harbour Hill
Verling, Bartholomew, Esq., White Point
Webster, Mrs. Jessy, 5 Bellevue Terrace
Wentworth, Lieut.William Fitzwilliam, R.N. Haulbowline Island
White, Lieut. Edwd. Thos., Bishop St.
Wilson, the Misses Jane and Eliza, Rose Hill
Woolfe, Capt. ___, R.N., York Terrace
**Academies and Schools**
Coghlan, Rev. Thos. Lloyd, Spy Hill
Crowly, Ann (ladies boarding), 4 Bellevue Terrace
INFANTS SCHOOL, Bellevue
Hannah Maria Goode, Mistress
Jamson, Jane (day) King St.
NATIONAL SCHOOL, Bishop Street
James Doyle, master
Mary Reily, mistress
PROTESTANT PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, Bellevue
Patrick Cotter, master
Mary Cotter, mistress
Benson, Hamilton, The Beach
Clancy, Cornelius Harrington, The Beach
Stanistreet, Richard, East Beach
Tarrant, Thomas Hoskins, East Beach
Buckley, Patrick, 10 King's Square
Carden, Robert, Back St.
Hallinan, Timothy, 1 East Beach
Kinnears, John, King St.
Kirby, William, Bishop St.
M'Carthy, Denis, Bishop St.
Seymour, James, 12 King's Square
Aher, Jeremiah, Harbour Row
Bluett, George (and whitesmith), Harbour Row
**Booksellers & Stationers**
Dixon, Maria, Harbour Row
Jackson, Elizabeth Ann, Harbour Row
**Boot and Shoe Makers**
Barry, Richard, Back St.
Cunningham, John, 14 Harbour Row
Dunn, Thomas, West Beach
Ellis, John, 30 Harbour Row
Forcade, Henry, East Beach
Gilly, Garret, Roche's Row
Hall, Michael, 10 King's Square
Harding, Richard, Barrack St.
Hill, John Harding, 7 Harbour Row
Kennelly, Thomas, Harbour View
M'Gill, Phillip, East Beach
O'Driscoll, William, Barrack St.
O'Leary, Jeremiah, Harbour Row
Spillane, John, King St.
Sullivan, Thomas, Harbour View
Testro, Francis, 11 Harbour Row
Tottam, James, King St.
**Braziers and Tinmen**
Donovan, Patrick, Old St.
Meade, John, Harbour Row
Burke, Edward, East Beach
Burke, Michael, King St.
Kidney, John, Harbour Row
**In the Shambles**
14 Brien, Thomas 12 Daly, Thomas 13 Callaghan, Danl. 5 Foley, Michael 9 Callaghan, Patk. 3 Geary, Richard 8 Corcoran, Michl. 11 Healy, Daniel< 6 Corcoran, Michl.Jun. 10 Johnson, James 4 Cosgrave, Wm. 1 Kidney, Thomas 7 Daly, James 2 M'Daniel, James 15 Twomey, David