2019 marks the 300th anniversary of the initial development of the Mardyke Walk from the Marchlands at Fenn’s Quay in Cork city westwards for approximately 1 mile to Devonshire’s Weir on the river Lee.
University College Cork (UCC)’s long sporting tradition is synonymous with this location. From the time the Queen’s College Cork Annual Sports event was first held at a Mardyke venue in 1869, UCC students have sported and played across all codes at the Mardyke.
Initially, Mardyke Walk was constructed as a promenade for city residents. However, over the following centuries, much of the adjoining lands were laid out for a wide range of recreation activities, both passive and active.
Many of these activities gave rise to the formation of clubs, most of which exist to this day. Since its creation, the Mardyke has been the most significant amenity area within the city and has played host to an Industrial Exhibition 1902/3, international soccer, rugby and cricket matches, band recitals, boating, and a wide range of annual festivals and outdoor events.
The city’s main green space, Fitzgerald’s Park, is situated midway along the Mardyke, and UCC’s main sports campus is situated on the western boundary.