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 1860s 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 and Crawford brewery were widely available. There were plans to build a concert hall in the garden.
Alas, Mr. Callanan's ambitious plans were not destined to 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. The Tower Bar was knocked down in 2005. The tower is still standing.
Download this image in PDF format from the link below:Callanan's Tower PDF(137KB)
2006 photograph of Callanan's Tower, taken by Cork City Libraries staff.