Work and discoveries made on Spike Island is now a documentary online

A few months ago we wrote on this blog about the recent discoveries made by archaeologists on Spike Island during the summer. Now thanks to a special collaboration between the Irish Examiner and University College Cork a documentary covering the work and exploits of the archaeological crew can be seen online on the Irish examiner website http://www.irishexaminer.com.

The multimedia piece available to watch online, will feature a five-part series recording the work done by the Spike Island Archaeological Project on Spike Island in the summer. The Project was focused on exploring a brutal 36-year period from 1847 until 1883 when the island, which lies in East Cork (not far from Fota Island), in Cork Harbour was used as a prison depot for convicts bound for the penal colonies of Australia, Bermuda and beyond. As part of their research on Spike Island a team of 23 student archaeologists all drawn from UCC and various universities in North America spent the summer on-site in the former East Cork penal colony, to figure what life was really like for the unlucky convicts, even going so far as sampling the typical 19th century prison diet. Continue reading

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East Cork Early Music Festival 2013

The East Cork Early Music Festival which is a small music festival, ran from Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th October and as usual it was a wonderful success. The small music festival with a difference prides itself on bringing period instrumental music from a bygone era back to popularity. To do this they go through live performances utilising many of Cork and East Corks best known historical settings. Music from the Medieval, Renaissance and the Baroque periods was enjoyed by patrons. Fota and East Cork received a boost in visitors thanks to the festival with many of the Cork hotels and restaurants enjoying an increase in trade.

The first festival was in 2003 the festival has had many memorable performances in some of the stunning and well known venues including St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Fota House and Cloyne Cathedral, as well as the recently completed Curtis Auditorium in the Cork School of Music. Over the years the likes of Emma Kirkby, The Palladian Ensemble, Barthold and Wieland Kuijken, Quintessential, James Bowman, The London Handel Players, Rachel Brown, Irish Baroque Orchestra and Bob van Asperen. Continue reading