University College Cork - UCC
The University College Cork, commonly known as the UCC, was established in 1845 as one of the three Queen’s Colleges, the other two being in Galway and Belfast.
Cork was one of the cities chosen because of its location in the centre of the transatlantic trade. Also, there were other present educational institutions. It then carried the name Queen College Cork (QCC) as the colleges were established in Queen Victoria’s reign and named after her.
When the doors opened, only 115 students attended the first session. Since then, the student mass has grown to over 20,000, the staff has increased from a little under 20 to more than 1,600, and UCC has expanded from one building to dozens. Even though it has now become a university in its own right within the National University of Ireland, the school has kept the University College Cork title as a part of its heritage of learning.
The UCC Buildings and Location
The site chosen for the QCC was both picturesque and dramatic. On the edge of a limestone bluff, it overlooks the River Lee like a massive white giant. The Main Quadrangle was built in a Gothic style with this local and characteristic Cork limestone, known for its light colour.
Housing the UCC’s theatre, sports centre, academic departments and leading researchers is the Lee Maltings buildings, and they are true gems. Incorporating sites which previously used to be flour mills, a brewery, a malting house and warehouses, these buildings are some of the most significant surviving industrial complexes in Cork.
It is also worth mentioning the Brookfield House, which was originally built by Thomas Jennings in 1865. With concerns about fire and flooding, he built a fire-proof house with yellow fire bricks, heavy fire-doors, fire-proof stairs and floors, as well as using iron girders in the structure. His worry about floods probably resulted in his most bizarre safety measure - a row-boat in a specially built roof gallery which would allow him to row if the waters were to drown Cork.
Visiting the UCC
Book accommodation in Cork on the Little Island at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork, just a 15-minute drive from the UCC. Apart from the magnificent architecture, there are other notable fragments of history here, such as the Ogam stones and the statue of Queen Victoria. Whether you are visiting UCC for business or pleasure, make sure to explore the history of this fantastic campus.
After exploring UCC, continue digging into the past and pay Cobh a visit, the seaport town where Titanic had its final port of call. With a hotel on Little Island, the town is a mere 20 minutes away by car and close to other major attractions in Cork and the surrounding area.