This is Cork’s oldest surviving structure, dating from the 13th century and the only standing remains of Corks medieval past.
Named ‘Red’ because of the use of the local red sandstone in its construction, the Abbey was founded as an Augustinian Friary and is a recognised National Monument. It was occupied by the monks until the latter half of the 17th century at which point they moved out (or were moved out) to their current location (The current Church of St Augustine at the corner of Washington Street was build during the Second World War). During the siege of the city in 1690, cannons were located in the gardens of the Abbey in order to shell the city.
In the 18th century, some of the Abbey’s buildings were used as part of a sugar refinery. This unfortunately burnt down in an accident in December 1799.Following the fire, the friary buildings either fell in to disrepair and were taken down, with the exception of the tower.