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, a question on Georgian Architecture has been included each and every year on the Leaving Certificate, on both the Pass and Honours papers.

It’s a fairly specialized area so with Leaving Cert Art Teachers already covering a lot of ground in both history and practice, it’s not surprising we often received queries from Leaving Cert Art Teachers, asking about the possibility of practical assistance and teaching supports.

This is the package I’ve come up with in response.  It’s designed with the needs of leaving Cert students in mind, aimed at taking pressure off teachers, giving students  practical, highly focused support, in the easiest most engaging manner possible, while teaching your students key terms and ideas.

Here’s the package.

  • a expert walking tour, Total time approx 1 hour 45 minutes.  Led by Arran Henderson, starting with the College Green area,  including the old Parliament (exterior and interior)
  • During this first half of the tour we look at and discuss work by Edward Lovett Pearce, James Gandon, and Francis Johnston, as well as the idea, ideals and language of Georgian architecture, all made accessible and engaging for LC students. .
  • Our discussion includes easy-to-understand explanations of the historical and cultural context the buildings we made in.
  • Notes on the proportions, and materials used in the buildings.
  • Basic terminology, and is there a difference between Georgian, neo-Classical and Palladian?
  • the main classical orders,  does therterm refer to just the tops of columns? Or is there more to it?
  • a discussion of the role played by the powerful Wide Streets Commissioners.
  • We look at interior decor such as plaster-work/ stucco, tapestries, and so on.


  • The tour then continues into Trinity College, where we’ll look at key architects like Sir William Chambers, (the author of the Casino at Marino) and further work by Richard Cassels among others.  Where possible we’ll enter another historic interior,  within the college, to look at 18th century Georgian decor like stucco ceilings, fireplaces of the period,  and even briefly- Georgian portraiture. 

That’s the end of the walking tour.  Total time approx 1 hour 45 minutes.  But our practical support doesn’t end there.

  • Within 36 hours of the tour, we send every teacher a pack of support materials –  containing 4 Pdf docs.   These are…
  • a 7-page illustrated primer of key notes on Irish Georgian architecture, richly illustrated, containing the key vocabulary but also reminder notes on all of the above Irish Georgian architects, their distinguishing traits, key works around the country and so on.
  • A Refresher Quiz for your students.
  • the Answer key for that quiz.
  • an brief analysis of past papers – suggesting the best possible revision and answer strategies.  This also contains two passages of sample answers, including a “single transferable answer”  that can be used in several exam situations.  It’s a fall-back answer but will serve to give students an idea of the kind of response that should guide them through the exam situation.

How to Book the tour.   Practicalities.

All Leaving Cert Georgian architecture tours for school groups take place on weekday afternoons and start at 2.05 sharp.  (There is no morning availability)

The activity is  run as an extra mural activity/excursion, with parents paying for students attending.  Please note the responsible teacher should of course collect all monies together before the start of the tour.

The rates quoted below are based on a minimum of 12 students. 

For Leaving Cert school groups, of 12- 29 students,  €10 per student.

For Leaving Cert groups 12- 32 students, from DEIS schools  (based on a group from 12- 32)  €5 per student

For very small groups>  below 12 students it’s possible to pay a minimum lump payment of €100 for the group  (€80 for DEIS schools)

We currently have some availability the second half April and first 10 days May.  Following the school summer break we then have good availability next September-December, and we are already taking bookings for same.

We are not currently taking bookings for Jan-March 2019 but typically we will have good availability that time of year.   Tours for 2019, may be booked from 05/01/19

To secure a booing for your group,  please send your inquiry email to dublindecoded@gmail.com

to ensure a speedy response, please use the key words ‘LC Georgian AND your requested day + date”  please  in the subject header please

eg “Georgian tour for LC school group,  Monday 13/04/18?”

-Thank you.


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henry-aaron-baker0190morrison2-with-horseproposal-by-joseph-henry-goodgxw-elevation1802-full-s-frontFeatured Image -- 9567

above:  architects drawings,  designs by different architects,  submitted for the competition to adapt the Old Parliament into the Bank of Ireland at the beginning of the 19th century. 


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