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?
a busy April, with four, very different events.. In terms of public scheduled tours for our members and guests, this April is shaping up to be the busiest in our history, with our improved Dublin Decoded website just relaunched. And four, very different walking tours next month… 1- 11.30 morning of 08 April, Kildare to… Read More a busy April, with 4 very different events
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
A few coal hole iron covers, these particular two are on Merrion Street. There are coal-hole covers in all the older parts of Dublin. This Merrion/Fitzwilliam area has a particularly rich store of them. The majority of the most interesting are coal holes, those circular discs of cast iron capping the coal chutes, ubiquitous to… Read More Cast of Thousands
Writing recently about the lovely old cast iron coal plates which adorn the Georgian and many Victorian districts of Dublin, I found my obsession spread from coal covers to utility covers also, such as gas, water, and the like. Yes, I know, I know what you are thinking. And it’s true, I have a… Read More Utility covers..
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.
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.
The superb exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting currently nearing the end of its run at the National Gallery of Ireland, ask and adreeses sucessfully fascinating questions about how the genre artists of the Dutch Golden Age influenced each other and spurred each other on to ever great feats of virtuosity. It has… Read More Did Vermeer use Optics in his Art?
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
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
Originally posted on Dublin Civic Trust:
Dublin Civic Trust is delighted to launch its major new building conservation project at 18 Ormond Quay Upper in the heart of the historic city on the Liffey quays. PROJECT 18ORMOND will involve a complete conservation and refurbishment of the fascinating set of buildings that comprise 18 Ormond Quay…
For picture captions, please see foot of article. Over sixty small brooks, rivers and watercourses criss-cross Dublin area, over a dozen through the city centre, including the Stein, Swan and Bradoge. In built up areas, most go unseen as they flow these days below ground. The most famous of all, rightly, is the Poddle. Not… Read More the best Poddle river…
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.
For those who missed it a few weeks back, one last reminder of a second chance to catch our amazing Grangegorman tour, tomorrow Wed 07 June. It starts 2.15 pm, which won’t suit everyone of course. But if you can get free, make every effort to get to buy a ticket (link below) and somehow… Read More dash to catch our Grangegorman walk tomorrow Wed 07 June.
Once again this year I’m delighted and honoured to be leading a number of summer city walking tours for the venerable Irish Georgian Society. When are they? First walk each runs on the first Wednesday afternoon of June, then the first Wednesday of July, then finally of August. All are on a Wednesday, the first… Read More summer Wednesday walks for Irish Georgian Society
Below are some images from our recent North side Dublin walking tour (the Hugh Lane to Grangegorman walk, Saturday 13th May). They were taken by one of our guests, Mike Quill, who then very kindly sent them on the following day. As you can imagine, when we saw them, we were delighted. Apart from the… Read More superb images, from a guest on a Northside Dublin walking tour.
Just a week or two after leading our first Dublin Decoded architectural tour of the Grangegorman area back last August last year (2016) I re-stumbled across this amazing map. You may already know it. It’s Daniel Edward Heffernan’s Map of Dublin from 1861, quite a well known image. Looking closely what impresses the viewer is… Read More Heffernan’s 1861 Map; images & institutions, NW Dublin City walk.
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.
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.
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
Our tour for Thursday 12 Jan – the second private Dublin Decoded tour evening of the Creating History exhibition at the National Gallery – is now booked out. It’s still possible to visit the exhibition, which is free of charge- at the NGI up to the 15th of January 2017 and a visit is highly… Read More ** Art Tour Jan 12th- now booked out **
We’ve been threatening to do this for nearly three years. We’ve been asked to do it for easily the last 4 or 5 years. Now we’ve finally gone and done it. The great Dublin Decoded tour voucher has arrived. The ultimate fun informal date event voucher. The ultimate gift for the fine arts lover, history/… Read More The great Dublin Decoded tour voucher on sale!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently returned from a trip to Sicily. It was my fist trip back, long overdue, since I first went 21 years ago. I find myself unable to resist posting a few pictures of the beautiful places we saw. Our first 3 days were in the capital Palermo (North coast of the island). I have old… Read More Palermo, Sicily
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”)
The Rath (fort) of Moines of course. Moines or de Moines being an Norman baron, who built a defensive structure in these parts in the early Anglo-Norman period. His name was gradually corrupted to “Mines” Hence “Rath-mines” or simply Rathmines. Today it’s perhaps the richest and most diverse of all Dublin districts outside the historic… Read More the Rath_ of who?
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
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
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.
The castle at Bentheim: an essay of random thoughts on landscape, history and money, modernity and nostalgia in the Dutch Golden Age. Look at this. Don’t by the way try reading this piece on a phone. Wait until you have access to a proper screen. Then look at this. It’s a detail of a work… Read More Landscape, modernity and nostalgia in the Dutch Golden Age.
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, & 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.
Our last edition of this tour 26th October sold out weeks in advance so we have decided to run one more in 2017, in case potential guests were disappointed last time and wish to avail now. It will run on Thursday evening of 16th November 2017. Tickets for the public editions of the tour range… Read More How to Read a Painting fun workshop: interpreting subjects & symbols at the National Gallery of Ireland.