City Streets

Carey's Lane

The photograph shows Carey's Lane as it was in 1939: the Huguenot graveyard is behind the wall on the right. Carey's Lane was the site of the original church of SS Peter and Paul, which was then known as Carey's Lane Chapel: during the time of the Penal Laws it was common for Catholic churches to be built on side streets. It was opened for worship in 1776.

Bolster's bookshop stood near the present-day church of SS Peter and Paul in the early nineteenth century. On 9 August 1825, the bookshop was visited by Sir Walter Scott, the most famous novelist of his generation. He was accompanied by Maria Edgeworth, the distinguished Irish novelist, and his son-in-law and future biographer J.G. Lockhart. A young Cork artist, Daniel Maclise, sketched Scott and presented the sketch to him. Scott was so impressed that he was instrumental in having Maclise admitted to the Royal Academy in London. Maclise went on to become one of the great Irish painters. The shop visible in Paul Street is No. 39 which was owned by Angelo Bernardi, a statue maker.

Carey's Lane and the nearby French Church Street were extensively redeveloped and pedestrianized in the late 1980's. The streets are now among the busiest in Cork city with many cafés, pubs and fashion stores, a marked contrast to the rather forlorn aspect depicted in the photograph. The area around Carey's Lane and French Church street is now called the Huguenot Quarter. It was refurbished in 2004 following the work in the area for the Cork Main Drainage scheme.

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