5 online Dublin history & architecture talks, live on Zoom!

From Tuesday the 2nd of June we are thrilled to commence a new venture: our new series of five one-off, on-line history and architecture “virtual tour-talks” – five classic Dublin Streetscapes.  No previous knowledge of Dublin, nor architecture or history is required.   All are welcome!   Talks include masterpieces of Georgian and Victorian architecture; vanished medieval churches and abbeys; a one-legged 17th century bookseller; an attempted coup d’état, and a troupe of performing fleas!

These highly informative yet entertaining, accessible discussions are not virtual tours in the sense of a live camera, wandering along the streets.   They are instead richly-illustrated slide talks, designed and researched by guide, writer and historian Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded tours, then delivered live- via the medium of a Zoom call!  Attendance is ticketed.     As well as seeing and listening to Arran deliver the material speaking live on Zoom, each talk contains a varied succession of contemporary and archival photographs, historic maps, old topographical prints and engravings, each image chosen to shed light on different aspects of the city’s history and architecture.   Together we will explore a seemingly familiar area of central Dublin each week, hoping to uncover the less-well-known aspects of its buildings, social history, the evolution of the streetscape through the centuries, and even some surprising links to history, literature and revolution.   You will find there are many layers!

Tickets only €12 per talk when purchased individually, or just €50 for the whole series of 5 talks (a saving of €10).  Special 5-talk ticket offer available up to 2.30pm on Monday 01st of June only.   Here are our five talks:

From Cathedral to Castle, and back: Dublin’s Medieval Core.    Tuesday 2nd June at 2.45pm.     The Zoom call starts 2.30pm; the talk itself begin 2.45pm sharp (14.45).  (Zoom invitation sent out  by email just 30 minutes prior to the talk).   Discover an area of Dublin thickly layered with forgotten stories and esoteric detail.  Starting from Christ Church Place near the Lord Edward Pub, formerly the dead centre of walled, medieval Dublin.  Then explore the massive yet often neglected institutional building of nearby Lord Edward Street, before we arrive at Cork Hill by the gates of Dublin Castle. Here we explore two architectural masterpieces. First City Hall (previously the Royal Exchange)  with its history of political assassination, of robber barons, posing eighteenth-century dandies and duelling cardsharps.  Then the fabulous, shape-shifting old Newcomen Bank (latterly Dublin Rates Office) with its dark secrets.  Next we walk nearby Castle Street,  then down ancient medieval Cole’s Lane and beyond.   All through this lavishly illustrated talk you will learn about masterpieces of Georgian architecture; vanished medieval churches; a one-legged 17th century bookseller; an attempted coup d’état and a troupe of performing fleas!

Talk tickets for Tuesday 2nd June here.   Please note, it is not necessary to to book more than one ticket if you wish to watch the talk with a friend or friends.  One ticket is sufficient for a group.   Please however do not share or resend your zoom invite to other households by email.    Read on below for four more talks.  Or, if you’d like the whole series, please consider our discount, all-in-one ticket.  


Talk 2-  Tuesday 9th June  –   Grafton Street: architecture and history.   Tues 9 June     Join Zoom call from 2.30,  talk starts 2.45pm sharp.     

Most of us go to Grafton Street for the shops, rarely looking up to appreciate its superb legacy of architectural and design gems.  Now it’s time to set that right, with this architectural tour of the street.     We begin at Number 1 Grafton- the Provost’s House of Trinity College, boasting links to Renaissance Italy.   Then we travel south, taking in highlights of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Contemporary architecture, while discussing the retail history of Georgian sweet-makers and Victorian carpet shops; via hidden Dutch Billies, the Egyptian-infused Art Deco of Bewley’s Café; and the hidden, attic-level social history of two legendary Irish department stores.   We’ll also take in French medieval pastiche and some early Irish film history; Georgian Dublin’s most celebrated brothel keeper and the links between Grafton Street and a forgotten North African fortress.  You will discover that Grafton Street – seemingly such a familiar thoroughfare – hides several amazing surprises.

Tickets to this talk €12 here when bought individually.  Or, special offer up to 14.30 Monday 01st of June:  buy all 5 talks for just €50, ticket link here.

3-    Capel Street and its area: Markets, Monasteries and the Law. Tuesday 16th June  Join Zoom call from 2.30pm; talk begins 2.45 sharp.     

Laid out by the ship owner, developer, merchant and Lord-Mayor Sir Humphrey Jarvis in the 1600s, Capel Street was the first great projection of the city of Dublin across the river Liffey.   Yet it sits in an area of much older interest, including the former Dominican Friary of Saint Saviours and the great medieval powerhouse of St Mary’s Abbey.  We’ll also contemplate the old Fruit and Vegetable Markets and its  extraordinary terracotta  and the Green St, with its 18th century courthouse, scene of some of the most famous (and infamous) trials in Irish legal history, and three former prisons.  We’ll end on beautiful Henrietta Street, the first and greatest of Dublin’s Georgian Streets, home of the Kings Inns, James Gandon’s most intact architectural masterpiece.   Learn about all this, and much more on our third illustrated Zoom talk.   Tickets to this talk €12 here.   

4-    Parnell Square to Grangegorman.  Tuesday 23rd June (Zoom call from 2.30pm; talk begins 2.45 sharp)

An richly illustrated virtual voyage from the elegant Georgian elite enclave at Parnell Square (formerly Rutland Square) and nearby enigmatic Black Church (with its construction secrets and local superstitions) then across the whole North-West section of Dublin city, including the fabulous architecture of Broadstone station and Hendron’s Building and the dark, half-forgotten history of the vast North Dublin Work House complex, with its hospitals, asylums and penitentiaries.    We will end by looking to the future, at the promising new DIT/TUD campus at Grangegorman.     Tickets to this, our fourth illustrated Zoom talk, just €12 available here.   

5-     Along the River Liffey: in the heart of Dublin.

The river of water, story, and history that both divides Dublin north from south, and yet binds it all together.  Studded with bridges that have witnessed street battles and revolutions and lined with some of the greatest buildings in the capital, from huge barracks to Georgian Courthouses, this is an exploration of the Liffey, its bridges, its buildings and its place at the very heart of Dublin’s history.    This our fifth and final Zoom talk. Tickets just €12, available here. 

OR: all 5 talks for just €50 available (five-talk ticket available until 14.30 Monday 1st of June only, here

Important Notice  on how t use your ticket and the Zoom Talk:  Please Read:   

1- When you purchase your ticket or tickets, you will recieve a confirmation email for each purchase.   This however is only a confirmation,  it does not contain the links to the talks.  That link with your Zoom invitation is only generated on the day of the talk instead;  and is then sent to you in a second, separate email, sent just 25- 30 minutes prior to the Zoom talk.

2-    If you have purchased a ticket therefore, please check your email just 20-25 minutes before the talk commences, on the day of the talk?     Please remember that the email may not arrive into your Primary email folder.   Please therefore check all email folders, including (on Gmail for example)  your “Social” “Forum” and “Updates” folders please.

3-    Please also remember to refresh your page every few minutes, in case the link arrives while you are looking for it.   Thank you.

5-    Once you see the email, please press the link in that email to join our Zoom call.   The talk proper will begin 2.45pm, sharp. We would ask guests to press the email link at least 10 minutes before the start of each call to avoid delays for other guests.   Thank you.

6-    Once commenced, each talk lasts 55- 65 minutes.   Guests computers’ microphones will be unmuted at the beginning of the meeting, but muted (by the host) for the duration of the talk.  Microphones will be unmuted again after the end, when Arran will be available a further 10-20 minutes for a Q&A.

No previous knowledge of Dublin, nor architecture or history is required.   All are welcome!    First talk 2.30 (Zoom Call) and 2.45 (Slide talk begins) on Tuesday 2 June 2020.  Then every Tuesday afternoon for 4 additional, consecutive weeks.   If you buy tickets don’t forget to check your inbox 20 minutes before each talk!  We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Arran Henderson   |   Dublin Decoded.

River Talk 5 image Talk 5

7 thoughts on “5 online Dublin history & architecture talks, live on Zoom!

  1. Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your email, this is a great idea but I dont use zoom and I suspect I’m busy on Tuesday afternoon both of which are unfortunate as I’d love to view.

    So I wonder would you perhaps care to consider preparing a video of your talks and uploading /distributing via Vimeo where viewers pay?.

    I look forward to hearing back from you. All the best.

    Best regards

    John Glynn


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi John, thanks for your kind, positive response and for your question. I think we are going to get asked this question a lot over the next few weeks! It’s natural to ask. Unfortunately however, we have no plans in the short-term to record and release the talks as videos. There are a number of reasons for that. Some are to do with the picture quality and sound quality, which is fine for an ephemeral thing like a call, but which we don’t feel will be good enough for an item that sticks around on the internet and is available into the future.
      There is also just the second simple fact that we have so much going on at the moment, rebuilding after the Covid wipe-out, that we just need to focus on the two new initiatives that we have launched, and focus on doing those as well as we possibly can. But who knows? We may look onto it in future and of course, if we ever do, then we will post details on the website, and all our social media channels.
      Thanks again for your interest John, we appreciate it.
      with very best wishes-
      – Arran – Dublin Decoded.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I did one of your tours while visiting Dublin from the States several years ago and am so happy to see this! It’ll be a morning event here but I am hoping to join in when my work schedule allows. It’s a wonderful idea and I’ll add my enthusiastic support to the video idea for one day in the future!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey, many thanks for your comment Jordan. Whether you can make it or not in the end, that’s still great and really encouraging to hear. I’m pretty chuffed to say, that in addition to 40+ people from Ireland tuning in to our first Zoom talk tomorrow, ad possibly one or two from the UK, we also have at least 3 from the US, including 2 in California, where the talk goes out at 6.30 in the morning!
      Thanks for the nice comment anyhow. And I just read a great piece on your blog by the way, which i re-posted on my personal Fb page.
      very best wishes – Arran.

      Liked by 2 people

If you've enjoyed the piece above, please leave a comment, love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s