Notable Buildings

Callanan's Tower

Callanan's Tower is one of the best known buildings on the south side of Cork City. The tower was built by Michael Callanan in the 1860's and was opened to the public in 1865. It was set in a pleasure garden of 7 acres. From the top of the tower spectacular views of Cork city and its hinterland were visible. Facilities for the pursuit of different sports were provided in the grounds of the garden. Wines, spirits and the products of the Beamish & Crawford brewery were widely available. There were plans to build a concert hall in the garden. These ambitious plans of Mr. Callanan did not succeed. Local tradition has it that the pleasure gardens became notorious for scenes of debauchery which led to its denunciation by the clergy, a factor which may have contributed to its demise. Michael Callanan's financial problems may also have played a part in the ultimate failure of the pleasure gardens as a commercial enterprise. The Cork Constitution of 22 May 1868 carried a petition for insolvency for Michael Callanan, although he was still proprietor of the tower and pleasure gardens in 1871. Part of the old pleasure garden is now a beer-garden behind the Tower Bar.

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