Mecklinburgh; Tyrone; Waterford; and gone – stories of change in Dublin city

In John Rocque’s famous 1756 map of Dublin , we can see Luke Gardiner the elder’s new Sackville St, with his “Gardiner’s Mall”  in the centre.   It was where O’Connell St Upper is today (Running North from Earl St to Parnell St)  It did not run south of Earl St.  There instead, was a much… Read More Mecklinburgh; Tyrone; Waterford; and gone – stories of change in Dublin city

2 last public tours of 2018: (1) River/Canal, this Saturday 20/10 and Monto, Thurs, 8 Nov.

Our next public walking tour, and our penultimate is coming up very soon, this Saturday:  River, Port, Dock, Canal, on Saturday 20th October,  13.00-15.00  (starts 1pm)  Details below. We will meet 1pm sharp at, and begin from, the Triumphal Arch outside the CHQ building in the IFSC are.  Then go walking east along the river,… Read More 2 last public tours of 2018: (1) River/Canal, this Saturday 20/10 and Monto, Thurs, 8 Nov.

Visual sources for understanding Parnell (Rutland) Square & area, 1756 onward

It is hoped this little essay and in particular some of the maps and images here help some readers gain an enhanced understanding of the development of Rutland (now Parnell) Square in the 18th century, and the central part the Lying-In hospital, philanthropy and the arts played in that development. As you see on the… Read More Visual sources for understanding Parnell (Rutland) Square & area, 1756 onward

Dublin: The Story of a City by Stephen Conlin and Peter Harbison, reviewed

Dublin: The Story of a City The publication of any book of drawings by Stephen Conlin is something of an event for any student of our capital city.  This book is particularly welcome, bringing together as it does most of the artist’s most important Dublin drawings, made in a long career stretching well over 30… Read More Dublin: The Story of a City by Stephen Conlin and Peter Harbison, reviewed

“Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland” at Dublin’s splendid Central Assembly House, an exhibition and a walking tour this week!

above  “the Abduction of Parolles’, Francis Wheatley (1747-1801). Private collection “Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland” at Dublin’s splendid Central Assembly House,  an exhibition and a walking tour,  this week! I’m delighted to be leading 4 tours for the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) over the next 3 or 4  weeks. Two of these events are architectural… Read More “Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland” at Dublin’s splendid Central Assembly House, an exhibition and a walking tour this week!

Stretching the City & Into the Bay – new life for old Pigeon Hotel & former Poolbeg Power Station?

In the always excellent Dublin Inquirer newspaper this week I was delighted to read a report on how Dublin City Council (DCC) is (at last) trying to find a new use for both the beautiful old 1700s Pigeon House Hotel near Ringsend, and for the huge derelict Poolbeg power station next door. Both buildings stand… Read More Stretching the City & Into the Bay – new life for old Pigeon Hotel & former Poolbeg Power Station?

inside the Sir Denis Mahon archive & the Italian Baroque, Thurs 08/03/18

Image credit: Guercino (1591-1666) Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph, c.1620 Oil on canvas Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.  Sir Denis Mahon Bequest,  National Gallery of Ireland. This Thursday afternoon at 2.30pm, Thursday 08 March, we are looking forward to our one-off visit inside the beautiful Denis Mahon Archive, located in a Georgian house… Read More inside the Sir Denis Mahon archive & the Italian Baroque, Thurs 08/03/18

for Ease of Navigation: a practical suggestion for architects, planners, builders & developers.

I occasionally write about Fine Art here, but very rarely my own output.  i don’t draw as much as i used to, it is more of a hobby than an obsession these days.  Also, when you sometimes have to write about a towering genius like Johannes Vermeer,  or any of the great Dutch, Flemish or… Read More for Ease of Navigation: a practical suggestion for architects, planners, builders & developers.

Hugh Lane to Broadstone & Grangegorman walk, 11.30am Sat 21st Oct.

At 11.25PM, Saturday 21st October, 2017 Grangegorman could be considered the “forgotten” quarter of Dublin.   Hemmed in by disused rail tracks and giant bus depots of old Broadstone, and blocked off by the high walled penal institutions of yesteryear, it kept out visitors, even forming a sort of terra incognito across two huge sections of… Read More Hugh Lane to Broadstone & Grangegorman walk, 11.30am Sat 21st Oct.

South-East Central historic walking tour, & visit No 6 Harcourt St old Sinn Féin HQ

Saturday 9th September, meeting Kildare Place, 1.30pm. Southeast Centre Gems: from Kildare Place then via a circuitous walk to No. 6 Harcourt Street. The first two-thirds of this walking tour cover some of my favourite gems and oddities in the south-east quarter of Dublin’s South Georgian Core. Forgotten educational history, and Soviet-style social realism on… Read More South-East Central historic walking tour, & visit No 6 Harcourt St old Sinn Féin HQ

Sign up to Newsletter | Judge us – read /write a review

We run from 1 to 4 public walking tours or other events each month.  (As well as walking tours we sometimes organize talks, site visits, even treasure hunts)  These events run from March/April to Oct/Nov of each year. We frequently show even experienced Dubliners places in their capital they were unaware of, various secret or… Read More Sign up to Newsletter | Judge us – read /write a review

Blackpitts, Newmarket & around: a Liberties tour.

Newmarket,  the heart of the Liberties, is scheduled for development, and for huge physical change.  Mill St is already transformed, while most of Sweeney Lane is a distant memory.  Blackpitts and Fumbally Lane meanwhile are both full of extraordinary, half-forgotten historical connections.  It is high time we explored this area, to look at its past,… Read More Blackpitts, Newmarket & around: a Liberties tour.

Family & kids’ Treasure Hunt of Temple Bar Saturday 27 May.

Designed and led by educationalist and art historian Arran Henderson, this unique activity combines traditional Treasure Hunt fun with an extra art-historical twist!   Our “treasures”  are  architectural decoration and decor “hidden in plain site”  on the historic buildings of Temple Bar.  As you’ll discover, they can be anything from fish; horses, lions; dragons, to swords;… Read More Family & kids’ Treasure Hunt of Temple Bar Saturday 27 May.

Hugh Lane Gal to Grangegorman historic walking tour Sat 13 May, 11.30am.

Grangegorman has been well described as the “Forgotten” quarter of Dublin, perhaps unsurprising given the often grim history of workhouses, asylums and fever hospitals that cover -and historically define- this area. Accordingly it’s a district many of us barely know.  That’s all set to change with huge, city-shaping transformations afoot, massive new infrastructure, new transport… Read More Hugh Lane Gal to Grangegorman historic walking tour Sat 13 May, 11.30am.

Temple Bar Treasure Hunt for grown- ups, Sat 29th April 2PM

Discover an amazing world of hidden art history and overlooked decorative detail in this unique double activity, full of fun and fascinating new knowledge.  (See the rave reviews on Trip Advisor under our company name Dublin Decoded ) How do our unique Treasure Hunts work?  Part 1 is the Treasure Hunt, where we give you… Read More Temple Bar Treasure Hunt for grown- ups, Sat 29th April 2PM

Creating History – our second tour now also booked out, sorry!

Please note that due to demand our our second and final tour date is now also booked out, sorry!  We do however strongly recommend people visit the Creating History exhibition at the NGI which closes January 15th (2017)  Admission is free. All details on the NGI website Creating History is a superb exhibition and is the… Read More Creating History – our second tour now also booked out, sorry!

Family & kids’ events over Christmas & New Year festival

Fish and horses, lions and dragons, swords and stars and hidden miniature bicycles.  Temple Bar is packed with an extraordinary, often overlooked  world of decorative detail. The best way to explore  and discover it is to search the objects out yourself, armed with just a list of clues and a map.  Oh yes, That’s right:… Read More Family & kids’ events over Christmas & New Year festival

South City Stroll- a Dublin Decoded mystery tour, Wed 26th Oct.

There are 6 or 7 tickets left for our next Dublin history and architecture walk which takes place very soon,  afternoon of Wednesday 26th October (2016). It starts 2.15pm, meeting at the Campanile of Trinity College. (Meet from 2.05PM, please present tickets, walk departs 2.15 sharp.)   The tour goes for around 1 hour and 45… Read More South City Stroll- a Dublin Decoded mystery tour, Wed 26th Oct.

the Dublin Decoded Great Temple Bar Treasure Hunt.

Fish and Horses, Lions and Dragons, Bicycles and Submarine Portholes.  Every time you stop and look up and around in Temple Bar, you’ll see an extraordinary world of decorative detail.  It’s an area packed with history and details, with incident and story.  And the best way to explore it all ?  ….through a Treasure Hunt!… Read More the Dublin Decoded Great Temple Bar Treasure Hunt.

1916 in Ballsbridge & free self-guided walk around D4, by Dublin Decoded.

Fancy an amble through the leafy area of Dublin 4, from the RDS, over the Dodder at Ballsbridge and onward to the banks of the Grand Canal?   In February 1916, myself and the writer and historian Hugh Oram designed a walking route through this area of Dublin 4. The aim was to commemorate the… Read More 1916 in Ballsbridge & free self-guided walk around D4, by Dublin Decoded.

Hugh Lane to Grangegorman, History & Architecture Walk- 2.15pm Tues 30th Aug.

Meeting 2.15PM, outside front door Hugh Lane Gallery, (Dublin Municipal Gal) Parnell Square.  Tickets should ideally be booked in advance please:  here. Grangegorman has been well described as the “Forgotten” quarter of Dublin. Now that’s all set to change. With huge, city shaping transformations afoot, this is a timely moment to explore, discover and discuss… Read More Hugh Lane to Grangegorman, History & Architecture Walk- 2.15pm Tues 30th Aug.

Post-Script, thinking again. (A retraction from a “Revisionist”)

The piece The Irish in World War One – Forgotten Heroes,  was written two years ago, around the time of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, in the summer of 1914.  Two years on, I’m still overawed by the the courage of the Irish and others who fought in WWI.  However, some… Read More Post-Script, thinking again. (A retraction from a “Revisionist”)

“How to Read a Painting” our private evening tour at Nat Gallery Ireland, Thurs Eve, 14th April

Looking at Art | the Art of Looking. We’re leading a rare public edition of our legendary How to Read a Painting tour at the National Gallery of Ireland, on Thursday Evening, 14th April. The tour is a private tour, taking place with ethkind permission of the national gallery.  It covers and explains ideas that… Read More “How to Read a Painting” our private evening tour at Nat Gallery Ireland, Thurs Eve, 14th April

Easter Rebellion 1916 in Dublin 4 | a Dublin Decoded walking tour

A vast amount and variety of events take place in Dublin this year to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916. Most historical walking tours naturally focus on the GPO building O’Connell Street and it’s area. As every Irish schoolchild knows, the GPO was occupied by the key battalion of Easter Rebels including Pearse, Clarke and… Read More Easter Rebellion 1916 in Dublin 4 | a Dublin Decoded walking tour

Georgian architecture for Schools, Leaving Cert Art-History.

This well-known Georgian tour, originally developed by Dublin Decoded for the Irish Georgian Society, has been adapted for students sitting the Leaving Certificate and is available for school groups.  The tour package includes visits to major works by Edward Lovett Pearce, James Gandon, Francis Johnston, and Richard Cassels (also known as Ricard Castle) as well… Read More Georgian architecture for Schools, Leaving Cert Art-History.

18th century Georgian Dublin architecture tour available for Leaving Cert classes & teachers.

As a guide specialising in historic art and architecture, I lead tours on 18th century Architecture, for my walking tour company Dublin Decoded,  for the Irish Georgian Society, and for various other NGOs, festivals and cultural agencies.  These architecture-focused excursions are highly-rated on TripAdvisor and such review platforms. meanwhile,  for the last few years now,… Read More 18th century Georgian Dublin architecture tour available for Leaving Cert classes & teachers.

South-East Dublin gems & visit inside old Sinn Féin HQ at No 6 Harcourt St: – a Dublin Decoded walking tour, with Arran Henderson.

South-East Dublin gems & visit inside old Sinn Féin HQ at No 6 Harcourt St: – a Dublin Decoded walking tour, with Arran Henderson, & Conradh na Gaeilge archivist Cuan Ó Seireadáin. The first hour of our tour – led by Dublin Decoded’s Arran Henderson – takes in a selection of buildings, monuments and history… Read More South-East Dublin gems & visit inside old Sinn Féin HQ at No 6 Harcourt St: – a Dublin Decoded walking tour, with Arran Henderson.