Tales from Market House

Market House once served as the marketplace for Cobh and Great Island. The building was the scene of immense grief following the sinking of the Lusitania.  It was here that the bodies of those who died were laid out for identification.

The ground section to the left once housed the Court House, which was used for many civic occasions. Many national and international dignitaries were accorded civic receptions here.

Alexander Deane, architect, designed the building. He was born in about 1790. He was appointed architect to Cork Town Council’s Markets Committee on 8 July 1842. In 1844 he is described as ‘Corporation Architect’. In 1847 he also held the position of ‘Superintendent of Works’ to the Harbour Commissioners.

During the 1850s, he was active in Cobh, where he was architect for the new town hall and market (1851)

In 1851, Cobh Town Hall and Market House was erected in new square (now Casement Square) at expense of James Smith Barry. Opened 27th May 1852. The contractor was Joyce.

Other works designed by Alexander Deane include; (1824) Widening of Southgate Bride Cork, (1840) Union Workhouse in Douglas Cork, (1947-1852) Lee Road Cork Lunatic Asylum, (1855) Docks at Rushbrooke Cobh for Wheeler & Co (1855).


In 2012, urgent refurbishment work on the exterior of Cobh Library building was completed. The project, funded principally by Cork County Council, has ensured that the architectural and structural integrity of the Arch Building is conserved. The building is well known to locals as the home of Cobh Library.

Cobh Chamber Tourist Office re-located to Market House, Arch Building on the 1st October 2016.

We look forward to welcoming visitors and to providing them with information on, the beautiful heritage town of Cobh, Great Island, Spike Island, Cork Harbour and local attractions. If your local tourism business has any special events or offers, please let Cobh Tourist Office know- Phone: 021 4813301.