the Rath_ of who?

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 core in terms of people, buildings and history.  It’s an area that’s been home to generations of writers, revolutionaries, politicians, civil servants and business people, soldiers and scholars. It’s also, I’m pleased to report, an absolute treasure trove for  architectural enthusiasts, with superb examples of styles from Roman style Grand Baroque to Neo-Gothic, and Romantic Tudor Revivalism to 20th century Art Deco, and across every building typology from stables to libraries, from schools to cinemas and factories.

I did a slightly abbreviated version of this walk last November. It was, cursed luck,  the wettest day on record for years (or at least, certainly felt it)  Thanks to my stoic, wonderful good-natured guests, (not a whiner among you!) we all somehow managed to have an enjoyable morning walk and some very interesting discussion.  (Trevor White treating us to a pithy summary of Lafcadio Hearns work was one highlight)  But there’s no escaping the fact we also all got absolutely drenched!   After an hour and forty minutes,  when I saw a few guests shivering, and some chattering teeth, I made an executive decision and wrapped up the walk.   Ever since that day I’ve felt that Rathmines and I have some unfinished business.  Now at last I am going back.  I hope some of you will be free to join me.  This walk will be slightly longer, and I’ve added some extra sights and history. I am also confident the weather will be better on June 11th than in was in November last year.

Our walk will discusses this architecture and social history, old land boundaries, underground rivers, literary and historical links, and much more. We will also visit two superb churches, our starting point Saint Mary’s Refuge of Sinners, with its famous dome, and,  by kind permission of the Rev McEndoo, also the intriguing church of the Holy Trinity.  It is the work of John Semple, perhaps the most enigmatic of all Irish architects.

We will meet outside the main door of Saint Mary’s Refuge of Sinners at 11am.   In general I think this will be a very enjoyable morning, A walk not to be missed in fact.   All in the  informative but sociable Dublin Decoded style.  Tickets can be booked here.

RATHMINES CHurch of the Holy TRINITY John SEMPLE.png


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