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We all know Cork is close to paradise on a warm summer afternoon.

But on the corner of South Main Street in the city, a small crossroads took ownership of the title many years ago… and it remains Paradise Place to this day.

But why?

We asked history buff and street name expert Tom Spalding for his take:

“My understanding is the Paradise Place commemorates Paradise (or Parentiz) Castle
the home of the Roches an Hiberno-Norman family, who were a significant power
in late Medieval Cork.” Mr Spalding told Yay Cork.

“It stood at the corner of Castle street and South Main Street, and seems to have stood until the early 1700s at least, according to Gina Johnson.

“I don’t know exactly what it looked like, but imagine one of the urban tower houses in Galway, or the one standing on the main street in Cashel if you want to picture it.

“According to Henry Jefferies, this type of house indicates a high level of civil disorder and anxiety about private possessions, but also that some families were wealthy enough to build substantial homes in the city at the time.”

According to local lore, the current Paradise Place sign is a recent replacement for a Victorian one, which vanished a number of years ago.

Word has it the sign has been used as a promotional item and has been spotted at motorsport rallies.

Just across the street, the mural at Paradise Place is the work of artist Peter Martin.

 Tom Spalding’s fascinating book Layers explores the evolution of signage in Cork from 1750 to 2000. You can order a copy here.


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