Cobh, The Queenstown Story:
Cobh, The Queenstown Story is a breathtaking and captivating exhibition. The Heritage Centre is just off the dock, at the site of the old train station of Cobh. Inside you will find a lovely Café, offering high quality food and beverages at very reasonable prices. There is also an excellent gift shop offering a large range of souvenirs and memorabilia along with a traditional Irish clothes shop selling a large range of Arran sweaters and other high quality traditional Irish garments.
The exhibition itself is made up of three parts: The Immigration Story, Building the Titanic and Cobh as Queenstown and is far larger than it appears to be from the outside. There is no shortage of highlights throughout this riveting story and the tour certainly has something for everybody. Once you get your ticket, you are free to explore the entire experience and take as long as you like to do this. It is important to take you time and check everything out as you will absolutely love the little facts and gems you will uncover.
The Immigration section takes the visitor through an authentically recreated immigration experience and it tells the story of the many Irish immigrants who left from Cobh to find a new life in America. This area makes you feel as if you are about to embark on a “coffin ship” yourself and it really shows how poor the conditions were which these people had to travel in. For those Americans who would have had ancestors come through Cobh, it is important and astonishing to see what they would have experienced as they prepared to embark on a journey to a new life!
The section “Building the Titanic” explores Cobh’s rich history regarding the tragic liner. For the many Titanic enthusiasts out there, this is essential viewing as it offers you the chance to uncover lots of new information in the place which was the Titanic’s last port of call. This section even includes a clock which was initially installed on the Titanic but which was removed prior to the ships sailing. Here, the visitor can see many sensational pictures and other items of interest relating to the Titanic which cannot be found anywhere else.
In the area focusing on Cobh’s time as Queenstown, the cinema section is marvellous! It shows a gripping short film on the history of Cobh and those who have visited it! For those who have come on a cruise liner it also explores Cobh’s history as a liner Hot Spot. This immediately follows the terrific recreation of a Queenstown Hotel lobby where you feel as if you really have been transported back in time to the height of such luxury!
This attraction also offers a genealogy referral service. This covers Irish births, marriages and deaths according to church records. Although genealogical research in Ireland is a difficult area, as there is no one centre which covers every genealogical detail of avenue which may need to be explored, this is a great place to start your search. The service is available for €10 for 30 minutes and a booklet is available at a cost of €7.50.
If you find yourself in Cobh, The Queenstown Story exhibition at Cobh Heritage Centre simply can’t be missed.
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