Doors of Dublin…

“there are so many doors to open.  I am impatient to begin…”    – Charlie Gordan,  Flowers for Algernon.

Many Dubliners are familiar with the well-known comercial souvenir poster,  prominent in pubs and language schools,  showing a grid of photographs depicting lovely painted Georgian doors.    The simple, elegant Neo-Classical restraint of Georgian doors are of course wonderful.     But, as one of the main vehicles for architectural expression,  the doors of our capital are far more varied than that.

From genuine medieval to 19th century medieval pastiche,   from neo-Romanesque to  neo-Gothic revival, the 14 doors below show a range of period historical and architectural styles that reflects the richness, diversity and quality of Dublin’s built heritage.

As I do these days, i have dressed this little photo-essay in the guise of a quiz….   How many of these portals can you identify and name?     All bar one are in Dublin city centre, and I think the exception is easy to spot.     Your responses via the comments bar please.     Answers will be revealed over the next the 5 or 6 days.    Enjoy,  and best of luck.

Number 1-   In the shadowy gloom below this huge portico and behind these vast, soaring columns,  where is this door?

Number 2-  Where is this splendid and ornate door ?

3-  and this one ?

4-  and this ?

5-  and this door?  Where and what?

Number 6-   A church obviously, in the Romanesque style.   But which church ?

Number 7, below.  –  where is this?

Okay,  you are half way there.  7 more to go.  Here is number 8.   Where is this old door?

Number 9-  I suspect this is the most difficult question in the quiz.  Or rather,  given the large sculpture of a basking shark floating across the front of this door, this is an obvious you know-it or-you-don’t.

10-  Where is this elegant early 18th-century entrance?

11-   Where do these two wonderful sculpted heads flank this door?    If you are temporarily stuck, then think about the precise iconography of the two characters depicted.   The choice was very deliberate. ..

12-   Where and what is this building ?

13-  and this, penultimate, door… ?

15-  Finally,  where is this riot of primary colour?

Response via the comments bar please.   The answers will be revealed over the next week.


24 thoughts on “Doors of Dublin…

  1. Maddening. Every time I look at a picture to expand it I loose all my answers in the box below. Can’t face submitting them again – have tried ten times and have run out of patience. I know them all except for 5,8,9 and 12.


  2. Ah.. no picture-expanding allowed! I feel your frustration though, nothing more vexing than bad technology wasting your time. Try again tomorrow or whenever if you get the energy, you have 5 days and your answers are always good. Thanks for looking. By the way, some people asked “where are the answers to the previous quiz?” They are of course at the end of the previous post about Egypt. Because the unifying, (mystery) theme that linked all those buildings in that last quiz was, that they were all, in some way, influenced by ancient Egypt. Naturally I hope people will read the post and find it interesting, but if people are short on time and just want the answers, just look at the last 1/3 of the post, they are all there. -Arran.


  3. 1. Bank of ireland College green. 2 Ulster Bank on Dame St 3. Dunlaoughre Pier? 4. Peppercanister Church 5 ??? 6 St Anns Church Dawson St 7 Dublin Castle? 8???
    9 Moxie Studios 10 Marshs Library 11????? 12 Mercers Hospital Stephen St 13. werburgh st church 14. Dublin Castle


  4. People are starting to submit answers, and these, or at least most of these, are submitted to me for “Approval” which basically means publishing them here. (Some go straight through, I never understand why these do)

    Anyway, I love getting all answers but I am holding back publishing them here, yet. This is because many of them have many correct answers (Anna’s response for example) and I want to give it another week to give folks a chance to have a go.

    Did any of that makes sense?!

    Anyway… Please do have a go, & if you submit your answer via the comments bar here, don’t worry if you don’t see it here… it is being read and appreciated. Honest. Promise!


  5. Ok, here it goes.
    1. Parliament Building, College Green
    2. Ulster Bank, Dame Street
    3. West Pier, Dun Laoghaire
    4. Peppercanister Church, Mount Street
    5. National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace
    6. St. Anne’s, Dawson Street
    7. Kilmainham Gaol??
    8. No notion
    9. Somewhere trendy that I don’t know
    10. Tailor’s Hall
    11. No notion
    12. Mercier Hospital, Mercier Street
    13.St. Werburgh’s, Werburgh Street
    14. Record Tower, Dublin Castle


  6. Note – I promise that I haven’t copied from Emmeline’s answers above.
    1) St Audeons
    2) Ulster Bank, Dame sStreet
    3)North or South Wall
    4)Peppercannister Church, Mount St Upper
    5) Earlsfort Terrace, Former UCD
    6) St Anne’s Church Dawson St
    7) Collin’s Barracks
    8) Somewhere around walls of Dublin… under Christ Church and environs?
    9) No idea. Looks like it’s for young people.
    10) Marshe’s Library
    11) Saint Patrick’s Cathedral?
    12) Somewhere on Lower Mount Street?
    13) St Werbergh’s, Werbergh Street
    14) Dublin Castle buildings


  7. A few people have sent in answers now, including excellent responses from Anna Rackard, Tig Mays and Emmeline Henderson. Thank you very much to everyone who has. Please do not be disquieted if you notice your answer not appearing below yet, this is only to give other people a chance to answer “blind” so to speak. All the answers and responses will be published very soon. May I ask anyone reading this to share it on Facebook? I’d love a few more people to see it and to have a go. Many thanks- Arran.


  8. 1. St Audeon’s

    2. Ulster Bank, College Green

    3. Martello Tower

    4. The Pepper Cannister

    5. National Concert Hall, side door

    6. St Ann’s on Dawson Street

    7. Hmm … IMMA.

    8. Cork Street side of St Audeons’?

    9. No idea!

    10. Tailor’s Hall

    11. The Chapel in Dublin Castle

    12. The balcony. I know this. But … No, I don’t.

    13. St Werburgh’s

    14. An invisible door in a top secret lab.

    15. Dublin Castle



  9. 1 St Audeon’s Church, High St
    2 Ulster Bank, College Green
    3 Martello Sandymount?
    4 Pepper Canister, Mount St
    5 One of the side doors of the National Concert Hall?
    6 St Anne’s Church, Dawson St
    7 The ‘number 9’ makes me think it’s in Trinity or Dublin Castle but don’t know!
    8 Because the surrounding bricks are so old am imagining St Audeon’s or Christchurch Cathedral somewhere but don’t know.
    9 Don’t know
    10 Tailors Hall Back Lane Dublin 8
    11 Royal Chapel in Dublin Castle,
    12 The reflection in the window and the CCTV camera would make you think it’s up around Merrion Square somewhere but don’t know!
    13 Church, Werburgh St
    15 Inside Dublin Castle somewhere?

    That was fun! Alison+Matthias


  10. More good answers coming in today, thank you. I am delighted. Please keep them coming, and please do spread the word. Answers very soon, Tuesday night or Wednesday lunch time latest, I promise. I am of course keeping the answers off-line as much as I can but I’ve noted people getting 8, 9- and even 10 right, and I think I even saw a very. very impressive 12 today. But I am hoping somebody is going to somehow ace it in the next 36-48 hours with the maximum 14. Someone, maybe.. ? Go on and try !


  11. I’m somewhat embarrassed with my lack of Dub door knowledge but here goes. I should point out that I am really only confident about 3 or 4……

    1. Bank of Ireland/Grattan’s Parliament, College Green, D. 2
    2. Ulster Bank, Dame St., D. 2
    3. Martello Tower, Sandymount (Pure guesswork)
    4. Pepper Canister Church, Mount St.Crescent, D. 2
    5. No Idea
    6. St. Ann’s Church, Dawson St., D. 2
    7. Dublin Castle (Another guess-I figure there are plenty of doors in there!)
    8. St. Michin’s, D. 7 (I’m a Northsider, so I’m hoping you put that one in for me-if it’s correct!)
    9. But I won’t be basking in glory with this one (I’m reduced to bad puns!)
    10. Yes! One I know-An Taisce, Tailors’ Hall, D. 8
    11. No Idea
    12. Another no idea
    13. See no. 11 and 12
    14. I’ll try Dublin Castle again!

    Looking forward to seeing how wrong I was!
    Julie Collins


  12. Hi Aaron. Emmeline is dutifully promoting your blog on Facebook. Here are the answers I can think of – Im stumped on two, and there is no No.14: 1- Bank of Ireland College Green; 2- Ulster Bank, College Green; 3- West Pier DLR; 4- Pepper Canister; 5- National Concert Hall; 6- St. Ann’s Dawson St; 7- Bedford Tower, Dublin Castle; 8- St. Audoens COI; 9- ?; 10- Tailor’s Hall; 11- Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle; 12- ?; 13- St Werburgh’s; 14- Dublin Castle.


  13. Actually, hadn’t noticed the An Taisce logo by the door in photo 10. So please update my answer to T….. …l for that one.


  14. About six of these are guesses!

    1 St Audeons
    2 Ulster Bank Dame Street
    3 Martello Tower Sandycove ?
    4 Pepper Canister (ie St Stephens)
    5 Broadstone Railway Station
    6 St Anns Dawson St ?
    7 Courtyard, Dublin Castle ?
    8 Christ Church ?
    9 Smithfield market ?
    10 Tailors Hall
    11 Dublin Castle, Chapel Royal
    12 Dawson S ?
    13 St Werburghs
    15 Back of Dublin Castle


  15. rethink on 7 think it may be Collins barracks

    6 is probably wrong because eucharistic congress signage indicates RC church unless it was ecumenically involved!


  16. Great pics. Dublin is a place I never visited, but is on my list of Cities I must see. I was lucky to have lived in York until last year…a great place for doors and more! Interesting blog Arran.


  17. Great to meet you last night!-Great blog and looked up Dublin Decoded too.
    I really do want to know more about this old bird; Dublin Town so i guess i am in the right place.
    I am sure I will run into you again. Keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, that’s brilliant Helen, thanks very much. honoured you looked us up & had a look around and enjoyed it. Was very nice to meet you too. What a great event. Inspirational really. Dublin is such a great town, both for the history, & lovely old buildings etc and of course, for the people right in the here & now. Last night was such a good reminder of that. Or who knows, maybe i read too much history these days, and just need to get out more! Anyway, hope you make a tour sometime, would be lovely to see you again. My very best wishes – Arran.


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