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Photographer's Note

Pictured here is the Shandon Tower of St Annes church in the centre of Cork city. It is a well known landmark in the city, and tours can be arranged to ring the famous Shandon bells, should you so wish.


The church itself is a Church of Ireland building, situated in the area known as Shandon it occupies a commanding site at the top of a hill, and is therefore visible for many miles around the area. The building we see here dates to 1722 when it was built to replace a previous church completed in 1693, but which had outlived its use to to huge population growth in the area. even that one replaced an even earlier church here with the site being a position of a medievel church as far back as 1199, which was mentioned in the decrees of Pope Innocent III as named as St Mary on the Mountain.

One of the churches most noted features is the 8 bells which are mentioned in a song titled The Bells of Shandon. The largest of these bells weighs just over one and a half tonnes. They first rang out across Cork city in 1752, hence the reason they are popular as a tourist attraction.

The church itself is not unusual but the design of the tower is quite unique in Ireland. Standing 120 feet, and a further 50 feet again counting the pepper pot decoration at the top and with walls 7 feet thick, its design was heavily influenced by a local family known as the McOsterich family. Today their influence is still marked here in Cork, as whenever any member of the family marries, anywhere on earth, the bells of the church ring in their honour. At the very top of the tower is a weather vane depicting a salmon which represents both the River Lee which runs through the city, and in older times represented the name of the Lord.

Locally the church has the nickname of the four faced liar (hence the image title). The reason for this is that each face of the tower has a clock, and depending on the angle you view it from the time appears to be slightly different on each face. All of the numbers of the clocks are made of gilded wood, and they are not all the same size, so some hands stick a little when they cross over those numbers. Strangely, on the hour all hands come together perfectly on every face.

The last picture I posted from Cork showed a narrow lane leading to the Catholic cathedral of St Mary and St Anne. The little narrow lane I was on actually leads to the church pictured here.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2593 W: 12 N: 6199] (21684)
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