The Church of St Anne is a Church of Ireland church located in the Shandon district of Cork city in Ireland. It is situated a top a hill overlooking the River Lee, and the church tower of is a noted landmark and symbol of the city. The church bells were popularised in song in the 19th century, and remain a visitor attraction.
The name Shandon comes from the Irish, Sean Dun, and means Old Fort. Shandon was one of 28 settlements in and around ancient Cork. A medieval church dedicated to St. Mary existed on this site and is mentioned in the decretals of Pope Innocent III in 1199 as "St. Mary on the Mountain". This church stood until the Williamite wars when the siege of Cork (1690) brought about its destruction. In 1693 this was replaced by a church, also dedicated to St. Mary, and was located at the bottom of Mallow Lane, modern day Shandon Street. Due to population growth, it was decided to build anew on this ancient site and so in 1722 the present Church of St. Anne, Shandon was constructed.
It is built with two types of stone; red sandstone from the original Shandon castle which stood nearby, and limestone taken from the derelict Franciscan Abbey which stood on the North Mall. As you approach Shandon, from all directions, you will see both coloured stone of red/white and such is the affection that Shandon holds in the hearts of the citizens of Cork that they designated both colours to represent the city.
The church of St. Anne attained full parochial status in 1772, when Rev. Arthur Hyde was appointed its first Rector. Arthur Hyde was the great-great-grandfather of Dr. Douglas Hyde, pioneer of the Gaelic revival and the first President of the Irish Free State.