The Knights Hospitaller was a Catholic religious and military order, made up of knights, priests and attendants to care for the sick…yes, knights!
They came to Ireland with the Norman Invasion and by the year 1212 there were 30-40 in Ireland, and the order owned about 129 properties, some say including the marshy lands where Ballyphehane is located.
A Knight Hospitaller made 4 vows – chastity, poverty, obedience, to help travellers and…to destroy the enemies of their church.
The Dominican monks’ lands extended from the south of the city to the townlands of Killeenreendowney, Freagh, Vicar’s Acre and Spital-Lands. The Dominican Priory of St. Mary was where St. Mary of the Isles Convent now stands. They came in 1229 and even though their lands and church were confiscated, they stayed in Cork till the late 1700s, when they built a house and chapel on Dominic Street.