1847 – University College Cork

Architect: Thomas Deane


One of three colleges constructed in Belfast, Galway and Cork, the original buildings of UCC were nominally designed by Thomas Deane. However it is now more accepted that most of the design was due to his brother Kearns Deane. Kearns died several days after delivery of working drawings for the construction.

The most Oxford-like of the three colleges, and loosely based on Magdalen, the complex is entered from a turreted gatehouse on the river frontage. The river front also features the library and aula maxima rising dramatically out of the river bank trees.

“The buildings of the new colleges in Cork, Galway, Belfast, and Maynooth, are proceeding towards completion; and our readers will have observed that the various professorships are advertised as open to candidates. The architects of the new buildings are, respectively, Sir Thomas Deane, Mr. Deane, Mr. Lanyon, and Mr. Pugin. That at Belfast is the most forward, and will probably be completed in the beginning of next year. The sites selected are about ten acres each, and the style of architecture adopted in each case is the Gothic.

The accommodation required to be provided in each college was as follows, viz. : —
First class — general accommodation, one great hall for public purposes, distributing prizes, opening sessions, &c. ; second class — museum of natural history, geology, &c. ; third class — library; fourth class — botanic garden ; fifth class — residence of president ; sixth class — apartments of vice-presidents.

Second class special accommodation . — First, chemical laboratory ; second, chemical lectureroom ; third, mathematics, physics, and mechanics, same lecture-room; fourth, literary department, two lecture-rooms ; fifth, geology, anatomy, and botany, two lecture-rooms (each to hold 200 persons] ; sixth, cabinet of philosophical and mechanical apparatus.

Annexed we give a view of the Cork College, seen from the north-east. The principal apartment shewn in the foreground is the examination hall, 90 feet by 30 feet. This college occupies three sides of a quadrangle. The extent of the north, or entrance front (seen in the engraving) is 290 feet 9 inches ; of the east front, 282 feet; and of the west front 191 feet. The library, to the right of the examination hall, is 56 feet by 28 feet. The main quadrangle is 215 feet 9 inches by 161 feet.” The Builder, December 30 1848.