6 February 2024

5 Things About Cork You Didn’t Already Know

Cork is the most interesting place in the country! (every Cork person really does think that)

There’s so much to do here as a tourist, but even if you hit up each and every must-see spot, there are still plenty interesting facts about Cork you’d never really know.

Today were here to give you 5 interesting facts about Cork that you might not hear on a walking tour:

1. Cork Is The Birthplace Of Boolean Algebra:

This one seems a little farfetched, but we promise it’s true. George Boole was a 19th century mathematician from Cork, and he created Boolean Algebra which is actually the foundation of modern computers and Information technology! We’ve got a library called the Boole in University College Cork dedicated to him, we’ve even got a bust of his head outside the main college building if you’re wondering what he looked like.

2. Cork Created Butter:

This one is a bit of a fib, but it is true that in the 18th century, Cork had the largest butter market in the world. We have a butter museum up near Shandon Bells that gives you the whole history of butter in Cork which we highly recommend visiting. They have tonnes of interesting old butter making supplies to see, and they even do butter making demonstrations where you can try your hand yourself. You can book a tour on their website by clicking here.

3. Cork Hosted The First Steam Ship To Cross The Atlantic:

Another unexpected Cork fact is that the world’s first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam, sailed from Passage west to New York in 1838 captained by a local man Lt. Richard Roberts RN. If this is something that interests you, you could head down to the Passage West Maritime Museum where they have an exhibition about the steamers of Cork harbour, they even have a piece of that ship for you to take a look at.

4. Cork Has The Oldest Yacht Club In The World:

Another interesting Cork fact related to our port is that Cork is actually home to the oldest Yacht club in the entire world! The Royal Cork Yacht Club, RCYC for short is the oldest yacht club in the world right now; it was established in 1720 and now boasts a total membership of approximately 1,800. It has a class of racing yacht called a ‘1720’ to commemorate that event. Cork often holds European championships here and some notable past members of the club include Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, later Emperor of Mexico, and Sir Thomas Lipton (the guy that made Lipton tea).

5. Cork Means Marsh:

Perhaps you would hear this one on a walking tour actually, but we never stop thinking it’s interesting that Cork used to be called Corcach Mor na Mumhan, which translates to The Great Marsh of Munster.  The centre of Cork city was actually built on a number of marshy islands at the lowest fording point of the river Lee if you can believe it, it’s a wonder we stay afloat! If you’d like to learn more about Cork’s origins as a county in general, the Discover Cork tourism page has a great history page dedicated to our humble beginnings, you can read that by clicking here.

That’s it from us this week, if our interesting Cork facts have convinced you to come for a visit to work on your language skills, feel free to drop us a message by clicking here.