our roster of public tours is up and running for the 2019 season. Below please find details of all our currently scheduled, public walking tours, to which anyone may buy tickets to and join in. All are welcome! Tickets to any of the below three tours should be purchased in advance, using the different links provided. (all the meeting points, meeting time and all other relevant information is on the tickets pages, so please just follow the links)
We’ll have many more tours in July and August, but these are not yet scheduled! For now, and until further notice, these below are our only three currently scheduled Upcoming Tours. We hope you will join us on one of these:
Victorians 1 – Wednesday 12th June 2019, starting at 2.30pm
This is an Irish Georgian Society (IGS) event, so tickets are a little more expensive than for most Dublin Decoded events. The tour will be led by Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded, for the IGS. But you certainly don’t have to be an IGS member to attend. Everyone’s very welcome and indeed, this is a terrific way to support the IGS and all the excellent conservation work they do.
Our tour will include both college and museum buildings, churches and chapels. We will discuss thinkers like Ruskin and Newman and their impact of the design of the Victorian age. We’ll look at examples of work by architects like Sir Thomas Drew, Charles Lanyon and W.H. Lynn, as well as the gorgeous paintings and design work of a forgotten Pre-Raphaelite artist.
The artistic treasures of the Victorian and succeeded Edwardian eras are perhaps still not fully appreciated. This Victorians 1 tour, and our second Victorians tour – the Victorians 2 tour on Sunday 23rd June (see below) – both aim to redress that balance. You may be surprised at architectural and artistic treasures that lie unseen and unremarked all around us. Join us for one or both of these relaxed and convivial tours, celebrating all that’s best about art and architecture in the period 1837-1910. Tickets for Victorians 1 on Wednesday 12th June are available via EventBrite here.
Sunday 16th June at 11.25am: a walking tour of Early Modern & Early Georgian Dublin, including an exclusive private visit to Thomas Reads Cutlers, Dublin’s oldest shop –
We’re thrilled to announce a Dublin Decoded walking tour of the Cork Hill, Fishamble Street, Essex Street and Parliament Street area taking place on Sunday 16th June. The tour will culminate in a private visit to the interiors of Reads Cutlers at No. 4 Parliament Street. This is Dublin’s oldest shop, founded in 1670, now back from the dead, rescued from dereliction and the subject of a superb, award-winning restoration. There we will be treated to a talk from owner and restorationist, Clem Kenny.
Needless to say, this is a rare opportunity to visit these unique premises and learn first-hand about one of the most important surviving merchant houses in Britain or Ireland. The meeting point for this tour is outside the Rates Office building on Cork Hill, Dublin 2.
Please read the Terms & Conditions and all the information on the ticket page prior to reserving your tickets. Tickets, tour details, a useful map and T&Cs may all be found here.
Victorians 2 – Sunday 23rd June, meeting at 11.25am underneath the Campanile, Front Square, Trinity College Dublin
This is a Dublin Decoded event and covers similar themes to the Victorians 1 tour (see above) but along a different route of the city centre, with different architects and different buildings discussed. The two tours can be done as a pair, or can happily be done as stand-alone events. This Victorians 2 tour treats and discusses Victorian and Edwardian architecture within the Trinity College campus as well as on D’Olier, Westmoreland and College Streets; around College Green and in the Suffolk Street/Grafton Street area.
Some of these very busy, very central streets are normally so full of traffic, tourists and busy commuters that they don’t readily lend themselves to recreational walking tours. The sole exception of course is on a calm Sunday morning, when the mania of the working week has at last died away, and it becomes possible again to really look and to enjoy.
What we see may surprise you. Our tour includes spectacular bank buildings, and Building Societies, and superb 19th century Insurance and Assurances office buildings designed by many of the greatest names in Irish architecture of the 19th and early 20th century, including William G Murray, J.J O’Callaghan, Sir Thomas Drew, W.H. Lynn and others.
Join us on Sunday 23rd June and discover this surprising world of architectural treasure and surprises, many hiding in plain sight. Tickets can be booked here.
Looking back: previous and recent Dublin Decoded architectural and historical walking tours:
11.30 Saturday 11 May, Portobello Walking Tour.
Portobello, Portrait of an Area: a Walking Tour, 11.30am, Saturday, the 11 of May.
As we see in the above image, in 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.
Later in the 19th century it was developed as a mix of wealthy, substantial Victorian red-bricks, mixed with smaller streets of artisan housing. Ever since it has been a haven for Jewish refugees and for Irish revolutionaries, for artists, sculptors, writers and much more. Notional birthplace of Leopold Bloom; the former Little Jerusalem, now one of the most thriving districts of Dublin, explore Portobello with us, all done in the usual relaxed, sociable, but highly informative Dublin Decoded style.
On this tour we will find, view and discuss…
- the homes of famous painters and sculptors and of George Bernard Shaw,
- a famous Rabbi’s house
- substantial Victorian homes built for Dublin’s 19th century middle classes,
- the home of a future president of Israel.
- 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 harbors, a vanished basin/reservoir, and an entire vanished park which once boasted a former, large ornamental lake.
- hear tales of fireworks and tightrope walkers, and of some of the most famous entertainers and dare devils of the mid 19th century, and of their unexpected links to 20th century musical history!
- see the childhood home of a president of Israel.
- the home of a man who made possible the entire, modern city of Los Angeles!
2.30 Wednesday, 17th April Rathmines Walking Tour
Rathmines is an area rich in history, home to generations of writers, revolutionaries, politicians, civil servants and business people, soldiers and scholars. It’s also an absolute treasure-trove of superbly eclectic architecture, boasting examples of idioms from Baroque to neo-Gothic and from Romanticized Tudor Revival to 20th century Art Deco!
Our walk discusses both this wonderful architecture and the social, economic and political history that underpins it all. Our discussion will range across old land boundaries, underground rivers, literary, political and revolutionary links, as well as the concept of the “township” and town halls, libraries, cinemas, and much, much more. We’ll also visit two churches, Saint Mary’s Refuge of Sinners with its famous dome and the church of the Holy Trinity, a work by John Semple, perhaps the most enigmatic of all 19th century Irish architects. All done in the usual, informative, yet highly sociable Dublin Decoded style!
Book your tickets via the link below to the ticket page. There’s also a useful map, at the very bottom of that page, showing the location of our meet point. Ticket page here.
above, 4 images from Rathmines, top the clock tower on the former Town hall. Above, the church of Saint Mary Immaculate, Refuge of Sinners; the former Kodak factory; the church of the Holy Trinity, by 19th century architect, John Semple.
Saturday 27th April a walking from Jays café 40 Upper Dominick Street, to Capel St bridge and the quays.
On this walk we will view and discuss Dominick Street; the Black Church; Henrietta Street; Capel Street; the old Debtors’ Prison and Green St Court House; the Fruit and Vegetable markets; the former Ormonde markets; and much, much more. Along the way we’ll learn about vanished medieval abbeys (two of them!) as well as the food supply of medieval and early modern Dublin; about the United Irishmen; as well as architecture, politics, and revolution. All this in and around of the most vibrant, historically charged parts of our capital city, with its amazing mix of old and new.
Please note however, although this walk is led by Arran Henderson, please don’t contact us about tickets! This is not a Dublin Decoded event! This walk is organized by, and ticketed through, the wonderful Jays Café on 40, Upper Dominick Street, to celebrate their first year open in business! There are accordingly, no online tickets on sale. Tickets are sold at the cafe and on the day. Please go to the venue Saturday 27th to buy ticket over the counter, direct from James or Colm ,at the café. Tickets can be bought prior to the event, or on the day itself. (Places sold first come/ first serve basis) Tour ticket price includes a free coffee from Jays! This promises to be a great tour around the amazing Henrietta Street and Capel Street area. We look forward to seeing some of you there.
for details on our Portobello Walking Tour, 2.30 Wednesday 1 May, please see below…
2.30 Wednesday 1 May, Portobello Walking Tour.
As we see in the above image, in 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. Later in the 19th century it was developed as a mix of wealthy, substantial Victorian red-bricks, mixed with smaller streets of artisan housing. Ever since it has been a haven for Jewish refugees and for Irish revolutionaries, for artists, sculptors, writers and much more. Notional birthplace of Leopold Bloom; actual birthplace of George Bernard Shaw, now one of the most thriving districts of Dublin, come and explore Portobello with us, in the usual relaxed, sociable, but highly informative Dublin Decoded style. Please find the link to your tickets, along with a useful map and all other practical details, here
above: a detail from the modern OS map showing the network of small redbrick streets in modern Portobello, a warren of streets, houses, cafes, local history and a museum! Below, a cafe garden just off Camden St, the traditional boundary of the Portobello district.
Below: previous tours with Dublin Decoded.
Saturday 23rd March 2019 – Library and Literature, forgotten spaces and forgotten figures of Irish Theatre, page and stage.
The literary and theatrical landscape of Dublin 1640-1922. From Restoration drama to Revolutionary fervor. This tour will explore a forgotten world of Restoration and Georgian drama, actors, publishes, booksellers and theatre managers; a 19th century woman novelist (and legendary salon hostess) a be-spectacled poet of poverty and politics and post-modern satire in the 1830s Dublin, and much more, all presented in the usual accessible, highly sociable Dublin Decoded style. All and everyone are welcome. Join us.
Walk ups tickets are subject to availability and space. (We usually take our online contingent, +5 walk-ups, approx)
All practical information, and tickets for our Literature walking tour 11.30 on Saturday 23rd March via our EventBrite page here.
Tour Friday 31 March, 14.30: Victorians 1.
Friday 31 March: Victorians 1 Tour:
Victorian and Edwardian Architecture in Dublin, South-East central: TCD, Grafton and Kildare Streets and the Stephen’s Green area.
Colleges and Museums, Churches and chapels. From Ruskin and Newman to Belfast genius, to a forgotten Pre-Raphaelite.
The architectural and artistic treasures that lie unseen and remarked, all around us. Join us for this relaxed and convivial tour, celebrating all that was best about art and architecture 1837-1910.
Victorians 1 date: Friday 29th March (2.30pm) Time: 14.25.
Price Reduced purchased on-line price as on ticket page, or €20 on the day if walk-up (subject to spaces/ availability)
All practical information, and tickets for our Victorians 1 walking tour 14.30 on Friday 29th March via our EventBrite tour page Here
Sunday 31 March 2019 at 11:30 am: Victorians, Part 2: an historical–architectural walking tour.
discussing Victorian and Edwardian history and architecture, around Trinity College, College Street, D’Olier Street, Westmoreland Street, College Green and surrounding area –
Date: Sunday 31 March 2019; Meet/tickets: 11.25. Walk starts: 11:30
Description of Tour: A survey of Dublin’s great 19th century insurance company, ecclesiastical and bank architecture, in the area of its greatest concentration, this tour takes place on the only day it’s peaceful and pleasant to view and enjoy it: on a Sunday!
This is an adaptation of a tour on Victorian architecture that I recently designed and led for DIT/TUD School of Art and Design. We will cover the main concepts and nuances of Victorian (and Edwardian) design thinking, its principles and ideals, yet made fun and accessible in our usual relaxed, highly sociable Dublin-Decoded style.
Everyone is very welcome. We’ll only run this tour one or two times per year. So come and join us if you can.
This “Victorians Part 2” tour is a follow-on to our “Victorians Part 1” tour which takes place two days earlier on Friday 29 March. (For information and tickets on the “Victorians Part 1” tour please see the separate listing on EventBrite and/or our Dublin Decoded website.)
Please note: the “Victorians Part 1” tour on Friday 29 March starts at later time of 14:30 while this “Victorians Part 2” tour on Sunday 31 March starts 11:30 sharp.
All other practical information, plus tickets for our Victorians 2 walking tour 11.30 on Sunday 31th March via our EventBrite tour page here.
Image below: detail from Bird’s Eye View of Dublin from the London Illustrated News c1848
Thomas Read’s Cutlers, taking place Sunday 07 April. – SOLD OUT, see below.
Early Modern Dublin to early Georgian, to inside Thomas Read’s Cutlers, taking place Sunday 07 April. Sorry, this TOUR is SOLD OUT. To receive notification of future tours in advance, please sign up to the free monthly newsletter mailing list. And/or please come on one of our other public tours (see above) We do not know if/when we will schedule another Thomas Read’s Tour but if/when we do, it will certainly appear in the monthly newsletter. Ditto all our public & scheduled tours. (Usually 2- 5 varied, diverse tours per month)
Tour Description: Our tour from Cork Hill then very circuitously, via numerous details and detours, to Parliament St and Crane Lane, then inside Thomas Read’s Read’s Cutlers, Dublin’s oldest shop (a private visit)
On the late morning and early afternoon of Sunday, 07th April, we’re thrilled to announce a second Dublin Decoded tour of the Cork Hill, Fishamble, Essex and Parliament Street area. In this the first part of our tour we’ll explore Dublin’s transition from a late medieval mass to early Modern (1600s) then to the splendour of the early Georgian period (1700s) – in and around this crucial epicenter of the old city, which was walled until 1680s approx. We will see forgotten passageways, hidden urban hedge schools, and learn of music, crime, charity, education, of architecture, poverty, wealth and power.
Our tour culminates in a rare private visit to the fabulously-restored interiors of Reads Cutlers at No. 4 Parliament Street.. This is Dublin’s oldest shop, founded 1670, now back from dereliction and the subject of an award-winning restoration.
Our visit features a talk and private tour from our host, the proprietor and award winning restorationist, Clem Kenny.
The second part of our tour is this private interior visit to within Thomas Reads. This takes place from 12.45 approx, and the talks and walk about – within Thomas Reads- takin together around 30-40 minutes, with guests then very welcome aftewards to walk around the premises on all four floors, to take photographs and so forth. Both Clem and Arran will be there, to field question and observations.
Needless to say, this tour represents is a rare opportunity to visit these unique premises and learn first-hand about one of the most important surviving merchant houses in Britain or Ireland. We’re thrilled to make it available to friends and subscribers of Dublin Decoded, their friends and guests.
Tickets selling fast and strictly limited by number, as we are observing a guest-limit for this visit. Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. But equally, please check your own diary, and your own availability before booking a spot. Unfortunately we will not be able to issue refunds after 8 days prior to tour (i.e. after 29/03/19)
Practicalities. Please read all other T&Cs and all the information below or on the ticket page, prior to reserving tickets? Thank you. All information and the tickets via this page.
Sorry, Early Modern and Thomas Reads Tour is SOLD OUT. Waiting list full. To receive notification of future tours in advance, please sign up to newsletter mailing list. Link is below illustration.
Below: Clem Kenny’s Thos Reed Restoration, first floor Int, view to front, Parliament St.
Further and additional public tours will be added in in the weeks ahead as we plan and add to them to our schedule. But remember, if you want reliable advance warning of 2019 tours, please sign up to our free, month email newsletter. It’s easy to subscribe (or unsubscribe) any time. The 40- second sign-up form can be found here.
Remember: If you are visiting Ireland a month or more from now and looking for a public tour and none appear above, it is only because have yet been scheduled. As there are only 1-3 tours per month, and since tours are only decided 5- 14 days in advance, many visitors from overseas prefer to order their own private walking tour, on the route and date of your choice. Private tours, custom made tours for your own family and/or friend groups, work groups and privately booked corporate tours, are all available year-round. (see below)
To submit a private tour request please see the Private tour pages on this site and follow the request private tour procedure there. Thank you. Please note these private tour forms forms are strictly for your own, private tours only. Thank you.
Below are some images from our last 3 public walks of 2018. We will run most of these tours again in 2019 and 2020. If you want to know when these tours are coming up as Public walks which everyone can join, please sign up to the public tours notification Mailing List .
Images from our last 3 public walks of 2018
Our third-from-last public walking tour of 2018 was Medieval Walls, Thurs 11th Oct. 2018. Image below.
Then our penultimate public walking tour was River, Port, Dock, Canal, on Saturday 20th October.
from Triumphal Arch outside the CHQ building in IFSC area, walking east along River Liffey, then over the Sam Beckett bridge. Once over on the South quays, visiting Bindon Blood Stoney’s famous Diving Bell; Grand Canal Docks (both Outer and Inner) old Boland’s Mill area, then along Grand Canal itself, Mount St Bridge, leafy Percy Place, and finishing up at beautiful Pepper Canister Church with its iconic classical portico and Athenian-inspired classical references.
Along the way we touch on everything from the Crimean War, War of Independence, Trade, Commerce, Shipping and Navigation, the Easter Rising, engineering, bridge-building, technology, architecture, urban regeneration and renewal. As you may see from the photo below, we all had a great day out.
Our last public tour of last year was River, Docks, Canal walking tour, our final public walking tour of 2018 was “a Monto tour with Arran Henderson & Terry Fagan” back on Thursday 8th November (2018)
This was a tour of the former, notorious “Monto” district, the area bounded by Gardiner and Amiens Streets, containing long-forgotten names and vanished streets like Elliot Place and Faithful Place. It was Joyce’s Night Town from Ulysses and formerly the largest Red-light district in Europe.
It was also the site of the last Magdalene Laundry to close its doors, at a site that still elicits understandably strong feelings and controversy, to this day. This was a memorable afternoon of learning and of commemoration, of our painful, often complex past.
Remember, if you would like to join some of our public walking tours in 2019, we will be staring again soon and the only or best way to hear about the walking tours in time is via our free monthly email- newsletter, please sign up here.
picture credit,: above: Elliot Place, 1930s, from the Frank Murphy Collection (Old Dublin Society) map, below: Detail of the 1912 OS Dublin Map, showing Monto area.
Remember: If you are visiting Ireland a month or more from now and looking for a public tour and none appear above, it is only because have yet been scheduled. As there are only 1-3 tours per month, and as tours are only decided 5- 14 days in advance, many visitors from overseas prefer to order their own private walking tour, on the route and date of your choice.
Please see the link here to order your own private walking tours. But please note, the Contact Form, on the Private tour pages is for private tour inquiries only. We are unfortunately not able to respond to inquiries about public tours, or which appear to be about public tours, if submitted via the private contact forms. Thank you.
All available information on upcoming public tours will appear here, in the listings above. Please do not send us an email asking about public tours several months in advance. We do not schedule that far and unfortunately won’t be able to answer your email. Information on our forthcoming public tours, once they have been scheduled will appear above and also via our … monthly newsletter,
Our free monthly newsletter – like the listing above our newsletter, which is only sent out when we are running events, lists all our public tour events. Our mailing list is handled by MailChimp, a well known and reputable firm and is easy to subscribe to, and to unsubscribe from at any time. This newsletter is an excellent option if you’re a resident in Dublin, and/or here for several weeks/months and don’t want to miss our events and/or even just a regular or frequent visitor to the city. You are very welcome to join the Newsletter mailing list, via this link.
above: ‘A Meeting of the Volunteers on College Green’, Francis Wheatley. courtesy, National Gallery of Ireland. Below: a detail from Rocque’s Map of Dublin.
Below: a detail from a 1861 map, showing parts of our tour, including Kings Inns. the LinenHall, Richmond Asylum, Women’s Penitentiary and more.