English Market

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The English Market in Cork.

The English Market (Irish: An Margadh Sasanach)[1] is a municipal food market in the center of Cork, Ireland, occupying an area stretching from Princes Street to the Grand Parade. It is made-up of Princes Street Market and Grand Parade Market,[2] and is regarded for its mid-19th century architecture, and locally produced artisan food.

The market is well supported locally and has become a tourist attraction.[3][4]


The term English Market was coined in the 19th Century to distinguish the market from the nearby St. Peter's Market (now the site of the Bodega on Cornmarket Street), which was known as the Irish Market.[5] There has been a market on the present site since 1788[6] but the present group of buildings was constructed in the mid-19th century with the ornamental entrance at Princes Street being constructed in 1862 by Sir John Benson.[7] The market changed little over the next century or so until it was seriously damaged by fire on 19 June 1980 and had to be extensively refurbished by Cork City Council. The refurbishment work was done in sympathy with the original Victorian building's design and won a Gold Medal from the Europa Nostra heritage foundation for conservation shortly after its completion.[7] The refurbished market suffered a second fire in 1986 but the fire was less damaging than the first.[8]


Café on mezzanine floor

It is administered by Cork City Council.[9] Since its refurbishment the market has become more multicultural, and a variety of fresh produce from around the world can be bought there. The market is still best known however for its fresh fish and butchers, and it serves many of the city's top restaurants. It is a source of local specialities such as drisheen, spiced beef, and buttered eggs.[3]

The market was visited by Queen Elizabeth II during a state visit in 2011, and by Charles, Prince of Wales during a visit in 2018.[10][11] Both were served by fishmonger Pat O'Connell.[12] In 2016 and 2017, the English Market was used as a location for the film The Young Offenders and the subsequent TV series of the same name.[13]

Cork City Council and the site's traders marked the market's 230th anniversary in August 2018.[4][14]


  1. ^ "Entry: An Margadh Sasanach - English Market". Official Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Visitor Information - English Market". Corkstpatricksfestival.ie. Cork City Council. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Cork - Old English Market". New York Times Travel. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b McMahon, Conor (12 August 2018). "Tour groups 'pulling a fast one' are overrunning Cork's English Market". thejournal.ie. The Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  5. ^ "A Guide to Cork City's Historic Plaques and Signs" (PDF). The Heritage Council. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011.
  6. ^ "History - The Establishment of the English Market". EnglishMarket.ie. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b "English Market". Cork Past & Present. Cork City Library. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  8. ^ Power, Vincent (7 January 1986). "City market devastated in huge blaze". Cork Examiner. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010 – via TheEnglishMarket.ie.
  9. ^ "About Us". EnglishMarket.ie. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  10. ^ Anderson, Nicola (14 June 2018). "Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla visit Cork's English Market". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Cheers as queen visits market". The independent. 20 May 2011.
  12. ^ Roseingrav, Louise (6 March 2014). "Mother-in-law gag earns Cork fishmonger a queen's invite". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  13. ^ Healy, Alan (21 February 2018). "Young Offenders finale to be screened in the English Market". eveningecho.ie. Evening Echo. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  14. ^ Sheehy, Paschal (1 August 2018). "Cork's English Market celebrates 230th birthday". rte.ie. RTÉ. Retrieved 26 August 2018.

Coordinates: 51°53′53″N 8°28′26″W / 51.898°N 8.474°W / 51.898; -8.474