Cork City’s Burial Places

In order to understand the nature, extent and location of burial places in any long-established city, such as Cork, it is necessary to understand the origin and development of the urban area and the prevailing religious traditions. Cork owes its foundation to Christianity; namely, a 6th-century monastery. The Vikings, who were initially pagan, provided the main impetus towards urbanisation during their christianised period in the 11th and 12th centuries. The continuous occupation of Cork City for over 1400 years spans many changes in Christian doctrine, interpretation, ecclesiastical organisation and ritual as well as associated burial practices and traditions. 

  • Early Christian Monastic Settlement
  • Hiberno-Norse Parish Churches
  • Anglo-Norman Monastic Orders
  • Post Reformation Churches
  • 19th Century Religious Orders
  • Non-Christian

 Burial places are significant for a range of reasons including

  • Provide information on the archaeological and historical development of a city
  • Enhance our knowledge of past societies
  • Physical feature in a city’s landscape
  • Cultural and Social Value

 Cork City’s Burial Places is a recent study of the graveyards and burial grounds within Cork City. The study was prompted by an  increase in planning applications in or adjacent to burial grounds.The study will enhance our knowledge of past societies and the people who shaped the city, and will allow for a more informative management of the burial grounds by those who are shaping our city today.  

The study identified a range of types of burial grounds in Cork City. There are 55 burial sites in Cork City. This number comprises modern cemeteries, churchyards, mass graves, churches containing vaults, and private burial grounds of religious houses, military, prison grounds and the find spots of skeletal remains. Also included are sites that may once have been used as burial places but are no longer visible. These sites vary enormously in shape, preservation, size and style.