Cork Past & Present
Cork's history, culture, places, people, and events
St Mary's Church on Pope's Quay is one of the finest buildings in Cork. Philip de Barry invited the Dominicans to Cork in 1229 and the order built a church called St Mary's of the Isle. The site of this church was near the present convent of the Sisters of Mercy on Sharman Crawford Street. Some stones from the medieval church are set into the walls of the present Dominican priory on Pope's Quay. Despite the confiscation of their church and property after the dissolution of the religious orders by Henry VIII, the Dominican friars appear to have maintained a presence near St Mary's of the Isle until the late 17th century. In 1784 they built a house and chapel in Dominick Street. The foundation stone of the present St Mary's was laid in 1832 and on 20 October 1839 the church was officially opened. Kearns Deane was the architect and the driving force behind the building of the church was Fr. B. T. Russell. St Mary's Church was extensively renovated in 1991. Pope's Quay is named for the Widow Pope who lived in Cork in the early 18th century.
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