The Butter Museum

Cork, Ireland | C.1985

Photo Credit: David Maguire

The Butter Museum In Cork, Ireland is a museum that documents the history of butter production and sale in County Cork, and is housed in the former Cork Butter Market which dates back to 1849.

Situated in the Shandon area of the city, it was the largest Shambles (open-air butcheries) in Ireland, and the Exchange was located within this commercial area. During the Exchange’s peak in the 19th-century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world, with butter exported as far as Australia and India.

The museum documents the role of the butter trade to Ireland over the course of history with displays covering the international Butter Exchange in the 19th-century, domestic production, and the operations of Kerrygold in more recent times. The displays document elements of Irish commercial, social and domestic history.

Exhibitions are intended to bring the visitor through various elements of production, from dairy cattle farming, to the documents and artifacts relating to the commercial butter trade. The Museum’s collections include dairy paraphernalia, including a container of thousand year old medieval bog butter.

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