Here in Dublin from June to October, I led a tour a tour on 18th century Georgian Architecture for the Irish Georgian Society. But in the low season it’s also possible to book this tour (on flexible weekday afternoons) for private pre-booked groups, such as companies, book clubs, schools, colleges or simply a group of friends. As regards students and young people, in an educational context, the tour is especially suitable for Leaving Certificate History and Art History classes, not least because Georgian architecture comes up every year on the Leaving Cert exam papers. In fact for school groups, we even include a free refresher quiz, given to the teacher at the end of the tour, (along with an answer sheet)
For many, Ireland’s capital is synonymous with the Georgian period, c1714-1830, when so many of our great buildings were made. It was an era when the leading citizens, landowners and political classes felt confident enough to commission magnificent public buildings, vying with London to be seen as a major 18th century European capital.
On our walking tour, we do a circuit of the southern half of the city centre, looking at some of the best masterpieces of the Dublin Georgian style. There are in fact 2 routes, (Georgian East and Georgian-West, as you’ll see below.
Georgian West looks at the splendid old Newcommen Bank, The City Hall/Royal Exchange, and the all-important upper yard of Dublin Castle. We also view both the exterior of Saint Werburgh’s church and James Gandon’s Four Courts, along with discussion, appraisal and analysis all along the way. Very occasionally, it is also possible to see the magical, untouched interior (not easily or often accessible)of Werburgh’s church, but we won’t know until the day. This tour also includes a discussion of the very important role played by the powerful Wide Streets Commission.
Alternatively, you may opt to do Georgian East, which focuses on Edward Lovvett Pearce’s masterpiece, the Old Parliament buildings, in great detail, including his stunning House of Lords room and its fabulous tapestries. The Georgian East route also includes several eighteenth century highlights of Trinity College including an interior and time allowing, an appraisal of the exterior of Richard Cassel’s Leinster House. Remember it is now possible for teachers and schools to book this tour, on flexible weekday afternoon dates, for their Leaving Cert History or Art History groups. We recommend Georgian East, for school groups and as mentioned above, we’ll provide a free refresher quiz, given to the teacher at the end of the tour, along with the separate answer sheet.
We hope to see you on tour some time.
Samuel Brocas: View of College of Surgeon’s, St Stephens Green, one of the stops on our Wednesday walk.
above & below: James Gandon’s Four Courts, one of the highlights of our walk. (photos by the author)
The same building in a view by Samuel Brocas, looking positively Venetian.
A final view by S. Brocas, featuring the old Parliament buildings (by Lovett Pearce, Gandon and others, and (to left) Trinity College, with architecture by Sir William Chambers and others. Both places featuring on the IGS tour.
Most tours take place on Monday, or Wednesday afternoons. Start time 2.10pm. For school groups over 15 students fee (to be collected by teacher prior to tour) is €8 per student. Private group tours for grown-ups from €160 per group. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. If possible please put chosen tour title “Georgian East” (or “West”) + your preferred date in the subject header. eg “Georgian East for school group Monday 13/04/15?” -Thank you.
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