'The Four Faced Liar'
Shandon Steeple, located on the northside of Cork City, is the most famous landmark in the city.Shandon or Sean Dun, means 'old fort'.It is 170 feet in height with walls 7ft. thick.The present 'pepper pot' shaped tower was built in 1722,using the sandstone from the old Shandon Castle and the limestone from the Fanciscan Abbey which was located on the North Mall. The limestone faces limestone country to the south and west while the northern and eastern sides face sandstone country.
As the local rhyme says:
At its highest point is a weather vane in the form of a fish. It is almost 4 metres long and gilded in gold. It is commonly known amongst Cork peoples as "the goldy fish". A fish was chosen as a weather vane because of the importance, at the time, of the salmon industy on the River Lee.
"Parti-coloured like its people,
Red and white stands Shandon Steeple."
Within the tower are housed the famous Bells of Shandon. They were cast in Gloucester (England) in 1750 and first rang out over the city on December 7th, 1752. The bells weigh over 6 tons and many visitors to the tower are invited to play a tune on them.
Within the tower also is the famous clock, known as the "Four Faced Liar"-accounted for by the fact that the minute hands on the east & west faces gain on their companions on the north and south faces- but complete agreement is reached again on the hour. The clock was a gift to the Lord Mayor and Corporation in 1847 and is, to this day, maintained by them. It weighs 2 1/2 tons and the dials are almost 5 metres in diameter.
Inscribed on the clock are the following words of wisdom:
"Passengers measure your time;
For time is the measure of your being."
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