UCC was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges – at Cork, Galway and Belfast. These new colleges were established in the reign of Queen Victoria, and named after her.
Queen’s College, Cork (QCC) was established to provide access to higher education in the Irish province of Munster. Cork was chosen for the new college due to its place at the centre of transatlantic trade at the time and the presence of existing educational initiatives such as the Royal Cork Institution and a number of private medical schools.
Adjacent to Gillabbey and overlooking the valley of the river Lee, the site was selected in 1846. The Tudor Gothic quadrangle and early campus buildings were designed and built by Sir Thomas Deane (1792-1871) and Benjamin Woodward (1816-1861). Queen’s College Cork officially opened its doors in 1849, with further buildings added later, including the Medical/Windle Building in the 1860s.