our roster of public tours is now well and truly up and running for the 2019 season.   We recently completed the last of our first 4 public tours of 2019,  including waks of Victorian Dublin and Forgotten Literary Spaces of Dublin, and have just now put up new EventBrite ticket pages, for our next three Spring walking tours, running April and early May.    All 3 are public, scheduled tours, to which anyone may buy tickets to and join.   All are welcome!    Other walks, for later in May, will be announced nearer the time.   For now, here below are our 3 currently scheduled Upcoming Tours:

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.

SM Immac Refuge of Sinners (by Patrick Byrne) fro Bessborough Parade copyright Arran Henderson and Dublin Decoded

Kodak Factory Rathmines


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.

MacNamara HQ just off Capel St

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…

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

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

Clanbrasil St, Camden & Portobello

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.

Green building cafe garden



Below:  previous tours with Dublin Decoded.

Mangan, Stamp of James Clarence Mangan

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.

Kildare & Dawson St

 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


KILDARE St Area Detail Daniel Heffernan Map

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

Trinity College Ill London News 1846


Thomas Read’s Cutlers, taking place Sunday 07 April.   – SOLD OUT,  see below.

Interior Thos Read's Cutlers, copyright RKP

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.

Clem Kenny’s Thos Reed Restoration, first floor Int, view to front, Parliament St int.


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 newsletterIt’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.

Medieval with Dublin Decoded

Then our penultimate public walking tour was River, Port, Dock, Canal, on Saturday 20th October.

Map w Grnd Canal docks, georges doc Tongue and taggart Foundry, Guniness and brit & irish Steamshoip Co etc

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.

River- Docks walk, on roof of marker Hotel (Pic b)


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)

Monto, Elliot Place, the Frank Murphy Collection & the Old Dublin Soc.

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. 

Monto OS 1912

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.

William St, The Central Assmbly House and Powerscourt House, by Malton


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. 

MAP Heffernans 1861 Map LINNENHALL RICHMOND Pent


Below: images from some of our public tours over the past 18-24 months…