Pleasure gardens at Portobello 1846, detail from a Bird's Eye view of Dublin, published in the London Illustrated News 1846

The fascinating, attractive residential district of Portobello – close to Dublin’s city centre – has been a haven for Jewish refugees and leaders, Irish revolutionaries, artists, sculptors, writers and more.

As we see in the above image (a detail from a Bird’s Eye view of Dublin, first published in the London Illustrated News back in 1846) Portobello was once a landscape of orchards and of 18th century pleasure gardens.  Only later in the 19th century was it developed as a mix of wealthy, substantial Victorian red-bricks,  mixed with smaller streets of artisan and philanthropic housing.  Ever since this fascinating district has been a haven for Jewish refugees and for Irish revolutionaries, for artists, sculptors, writers and much more.  The notional birthplace of Leopold Bloom; the former Little Jerusalem, now one of the most thriving districts of Dublin.  Join Arran Henderson to explore Portobello, all done in his usual relaxed, sociable, yet highly erudite “Dublin Decoded” style.

On this tour we will discuss:

  • the homes of famous painters, sculptors and writers including Harry Kernoff and George Bernard Shaw,
  • the home of a legendary Rabbi and learn of his importance to Irish Independence and our Constitutional history.
  • and the home of a future president of Israel
  • see the substantial Victorian homes built for Dublin’s 19th century middle classes,
  • the home of a pair of actor-brothers, who won Oscars and awards and who worked with a galaxy of greats, including Hitchcock, Ford and Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn.
  • workers’ cottages, built by a 19th century Philanthropic Housing agency.
  • the site of vanished harbours, a vanished basin/reservoir, and an entire vanished park which once boasted a former, large ornamental lake.
  • hear tales of firework displays and tightrope walkers, and of the famous entertainers and daredevils of the mid 19th century, and of their unexpected links to 20th century Beatles musical history!
  • see the childhood home of a man who made possible the entire modern city of Los Angeles!

Tour Details:

We offer this Portobello tour as a private activity for your own, private group, on a date of your own choosing. 

  • Tour time: 2 hours (approx)
  • Price: please hit the green “Book Now” button at the bottom of this page and input your date and guest numbers.  The price will depend on your number of guests.

This tour is also run as a public tour 2- 4 times per year, when, like all our public tours, it’s naturally open to all.  Details of upcoming public tours appear on our Public Tours Page.   If you are primarily interested in our Public tours, then by far the best way to hear about them is to sign up to our monthly newsletter.


Portobello Tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded Tours 2

Portobello Tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded Tours

above:  two images from a recent Portobello Tour with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded Tours

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