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 Dublin. Now that’s all set to change. With huge, city-shaping transformations afoot, this is a timely moment to explore and discover this neglected, little known, sometimes grim yet always remarkable corner of Dublin.
We will meet outside the front door of the Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square North at 11.25am on Saturday 21st October 2017 (tour departing 11.30am sharp). From there we’ll walk North and West to see and discuss some of the many historic, civic, residential and ecclesiastical treasures of this district, including Dublin’s most enigmatic church, Glasgow- style tenements, Gandon’s magnificent King’s Inns, John Skipton Mulvaney’s sublime Broadstone station and more. Among other topics we’ll discuss the extraordinary transport history of this area.
Above and feature image: a detail from Daniel Heffernan’s amazing 1861 map, with its beautiful isometric drawings. Many of these building and institutions feature on our walk on 21st October.
Above, one of the extraordinary door case sculptures from King’s Inns. (Photo Credit, Mike Quill)
above: The Royal Canal with King’s Inns in the distance, left; and below: the former Broadstone Harbour.
Over on the far side of Constitution Hill things get even more interesting. This whole area is and was covered in a network of mental, health and penal institutions, hospitals, clinics, prisons, asylums and Work Houses, built from the 1700s onward, which came to dominate and define the entire area for over 150 years. Among buildings we will consider are two ginormous Georgian era structures: Francis Johnston’s extraordinary Women’s Penitentiary and his Richmond Asylum, formerly part of a complex of Work Houses so big it had its own system of coinage.
Now with all the extraordinary developments taking place across the area, including the new LUAS light railway extension and the stunning new DIT campus on the former St Brendan’s Mental hospital site, we’ll finish by considering the future: how architects, planners and designers have used a mix of re-purposed 19th century buildings with new-built modern architecture to create a brand new university campus. We look at the campus buildings, the gardens, amenities, parkland and architecture of the new site, and see how it all fits into the large urban context of its immediate area and its community, and indeed, into Dublin as a whole.
From being a forgotten quarter of Dublin, Grangegorman looks set to become one of the most thriving and dynamic. This is a rare opportunity to see an area on the very cusp of transformation, and to consider how a city evolves. This is our last outdoor public tour of 2017. It is open to all, with everyone very welcome and promises to be another remarkable tour. Please book your tickets via this link. You will find a useful map at the bottom of the ticket page, as well as any T&Cs, and all necessary practical information. We look forward to welcoming you there.