In mediaeval times, the North Main Street area was known as the suburb of Dungarvan. It occupied the north island of the city, while the South Main Street occupied the south island. The north and south islands were connected by a bridge built around 1190. The wall around the north island was not completed until the late 13th or early 14th century. Historians and archaeologists feel that the North Main Street area was not extensively inhabited until late in the 13th century. Over time, the North and South Main Streets together formed the central spine of Cork city, with lanes and plots running off the Main Street to the walls of the mediaeval city. The North Main Street was connected to the north bank of the Lee by the North Gate Bridge which was fortified by the North Gate Castle. Later the North Gate Castle was used as a jail. In recent years the North Main Street has undergone major redevelopments. A cinema, appropriately called The Gate, now stands at the corner of North Main Street and Bachelor's Quay. Apartments have been built along the street and a supermarket has been extended. The North Main Street is now one of the busiest streets in Cork.
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