Cork Butter Museum

The Cork Butter Museum, situated in the historic Shandon area of Cork City, Ireland, is a great way to spend part of an afternoon. Walking distance from Cork City centre, this museum exposes visitors to all there is to know about butter and its historical significance throughout Ireland and the world.


Cork, Ireland was once the largest marketplace in the world for butter and, in the 19th century, it was the foremost exporter of the product worldwide, shipping butter to destinations as far away as Australia. Because of this, the butter industry became one of the greatest success stories in Ireland’s history and is now documented in one of the country’s most charming and quirky museums.

The Cork Butter Museum is currently housed in the former Cork Butter Market Building that dates back to 1849. This market was the premier location for butter merchants from 1770 to 1925 and brought together dairy farmers from as far away as Kerry to sell their products. Much later, a man named Eric Peard sought out sponsors for the museum’s founding and in 1997 it opened its doors to the public. It remains the authority on all things butter, a product that’s used by virtually everyone whether it is as a spread or in cooking.

What You’ll See

The Cork Butter Museum is a fantastic resource for everything relating to the history of dairy cattle farming, ancient butter production, and its impact on Irish history. The museum is home to a wide array of artefacts, audio-visual presentations, historical documents, and live demonstrations. Visitors are introduced to Ireland’s early dairy culture from the traditional craft of home butter-making all the way to the commercial success of today’s Kerrygold brand. This illustrates just how drastically butter production has changed over the centuries and provides great insight to a little known part of world history. Watch the live butter-making demonstrations at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays and don’t forget to check out the display of 1,000-year-old medieval bog butter, a crowd favourite.

Why go?

This charming corner of Irish history is an excellent visit for anyone with an hour or two to spare. The inexpensive admission price and the enriching displays inside are a favourite among tourists and make for a memorable visit to Cork. The Butter Museum is within walking distance from Cork centre and houses a wealth of information on a very relevant piece of Ireland’s history and a product we all know and love. Stop in for a visit and let the museum’s friendly and helpful staff entertain you with their incredible knowledge on the heart of Ireland’s commerce.

The Cork Butter Museum is a welcome treat for anyone interested in Irish history and one of its primary exports. From the early cottage industry to the international phenomenon that became Ireland’s butter production, nothing on the subject is left untold. Stop by and learn the details of butter’s important role in history, all the elements of its production, and how Ireland’s small diary farmers were all brought together under one brand for the sake of the spread.

Get In Touch

If you would like to discuss any of the tours shown on this site, or if you’re looking to customise your own tour and just want to ‘pick our brains’ we’d be only too delighted to chat with you.