Public Walking Tours:

I’m taking a short 5-week hiatus from Dublin Decoded public walks for the last week of June and through July because I am delighted to be leading 4 tours for the venerable Irish Georgian Society (IGS) over the next 3 or 4  weeks.  You are very welcome to join these walks, all are welcome!    Please see below for details and links of these IGS walks. Everyone is very welcome.  Please note however,  all the four walks mentioned below are not Dublin Decoded walks, they are rather Irish Georgian Society walks I’m leading for the IGS,  but of course not administrating.      Any ticket inquiries or other administrative inquiries should therefore please be directed to the IGS offices.  Many thanks!

These walks are 

1-  Wednesday evening, 27th June at 6PM.  – the Society of Artists,  and Eighteenth-Century Dublin

The Society of Artists exhibitions of 1766-80 took place in a city changing in both in appearance and sensibility. The exhibitions catered to a public recently converted to Palladian architecture, with tastes and aesthetic expectations increasingly shaped by the experience of the Grand Tour. Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded leads a walking tour around the South William Street district drawing on details of both local artists and patrons, in an attempt to sketch out some of the context and flavour of those times.

Booking required. Duration: 2 hours.

Tickets should if possible be purchased in advance please.  For all details, all information, plus tickets,  please see here.

(For a full, informative account of this unique walk and its historical background, please see below the public walks list)

2-  Wednesday afternoon July 11, starting 14:45 pm.  the Camden- Aungier Street area, an architectural and local history walk. 

Victorian, Georgian, and early modern architecture and the 1600s estate built on the grounds of the White Friars by Francis Aungier, 1st Lord Longford, including a former prison, a forgotten manorial courthouse, and vanished churches, not to mention a rich artistic, political, and commerical history.

Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded will lead a walking tour exploring and discussing the area, its history, and its architecture. Meeting at the corner of Synge St. and Harrington St. (Outside St. Kevin’s Church) at 14:45.

Tickets should definitely be purchased in advance please.  For all details, all information, plus tickets,  please see here.

 

3-  Saturday July 14, 12:00 P.M  – the Society of Artists,  and Eighteenth-Century Dublin,

(a second and final iteration of this walk)

The Society of Artists exhibitions of 1766-80 took place in a city changing in both in appearance and sensibility. The exhibitions catered to a public recently converted to Palladian architecture, with tastes and aesthetic expectations increasingly shaped by the experience of the Grand Tour. Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded leads a walking tour around the South William Street district drawing on details of both local artists and patrons, in an attempt to sketch out some of the context and flavour of those times.

Booking required. Duration: 2 hours.

Tickets should if possible be purchased in advance please.  For all details, all information, plus tickets, for  Saturday July 14, 12:00 P.M.  – please see here and remember to select your correct date.  Thank you.

(For a full, informative account of this unique walk and its historical background, please see below the public walks list)

4-  on Sunday July 22,   at 11:30 am:  Grafton Street, an architectural appreciation tour. 

 A look at the architecture and social history of Grafton Street, 1600s to 1900s: from Dutch Billies to Art Deco. Meeting at the corner of Wicklow Street and Grafton Street (Outside Weir and Sons) at 11:30.

This walk usually sells out, so tickets should be purchased in advance please.  For all details, all information, plus tickets,  please see here.

 

Regarding the  the Society of Artists,  and Eighteenth-Century Dublin walk  this is a brand new, entirely unique walk,  designed to explore the new art exhibition currently running at Dublin’s splendid Central Assembly House, “Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland”.    But as it’s directly based on the exhibition, this walk has the lifespan of a butterfly!    It will run twice only, this week  Wed 27  June (at 6PM)
then finally,  once more,  on Saturday 14 July (at 12 noon) and then nevrr run again.  So catch it while you can!

The background to this walk is the Society of Artists, a body of painters, sculptors and architects formed in the mid-1700s.

Within eighteen months of their formation, the Society had fund-raised for and had constructed the splendid space that today we call the Central Assembly House, on Dublin’s South William St. (Seen below, in James Malton’s famous image, to the right of Lord Powerscourt’s townhouse)

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

Although the Society themselves were to destined to have a short if glorious lifespan, lasting barely 15 years,  they had nevertheless, created the first purpose-built space for the public display of art in Britain or Ireland, indeed very probably the first such space in Europe.

Thereafter, from 1765-1780 they held their annual shows in the majestic Octagon Room, the great top-lit gallery space within the Central Assembly House.   Nearly all the greatest Irish artists of the age, painters like Thomas Roberts and William Ashford, as well as artists like Francis Wheatley from abroad, exhibited there.
Their artworks were displayed in the 18th century, Salon-style, with works much closer than today, hung almost edge-to-edge, and stacked 3 or 4 rows high,  from as low as knee-height to up 18 feet above eye-level.

Two hundred and fifty years later, to celebrate the ground breaking legacy of the Society of the Artists, and the IGS’ restoration of the Artists’ unique Octagon Room,  it was resolved to create, or recreate, an exhibition of works by the Society of Artists exhibitors.

The curators of the current show, in a painstaking process of both research and of planning lasting many years, tracked down, borrowed and gathered together almost 100 of the artists’ works.   That ambition has now been realized.  These works are now exhibited, for just over a month,  in the distinctive, Georgian salon-style “hang” in the same Octagon Room where many of them were first exposed to the public’s gaze.     Now as then, it is a sight to behold, giving an extraordinary glimpse into the world of Eighteenth century Dublin, the world of its its powerful and wealthy, its politics, cultural life, its culture and economics.

francis-wheatley-the-dublin-volunteers-on-college-green-4th-november-1779

above:  ‘A Meeting of the Volunteers on College Green’, Francis Wheatley. National Gallery of Ireland

The exhibition runs at the City Assembly House, in normal opening hours,  up until the 29th of July.    Thanks to the generosity of various public bodies and private individuals, as well as scores of people who gave their time and expertise for nothing, the exhibition is free.
For anybody with an interest in Georgian Dublin, or the history of the fines arts in Ireland,  it is unmissable.

This is where Dublin Decoded came in lat in the day but very honoured to be invited to then party.   We were asked by the Irish Georgian Society and others to create a complimentary walk for the exhibition.    Our mission,  the challenge we thus faced, was to add value, and historical context to the wonderful exhibition in the Octagon Room, through the medium of a walking tour

In the first hour of this tour,  we’ll explore the local area around the City Assembly House (CAH) looking at the locations of some of the artists’ homes & studios, from Grafton Street to Eustace Street, from College Green to South William Street itself.
Then we’ll return to within the CAH,  to visit the Octagon Room exhibition,  and here we shall draw some of the threads of our earlier street-level discussion together, discussing  the artworks themselves, and exploring notions of theme and subject matter, changing patterns in patronage and in 18th century painting.

We would love some of our Dublin Decoded readers and our regular guests to join us on one of these walks, and by doing so, both get closer to this unique exhibition and help support the vital work of the Irish Georgian Society by the purchase of your ticket, which is priced  €20.25 for guests (€16 for existing IGS members)

The Octagon Room promises to be quiet for our visit, making this a particularly lovely, highly convivial tour.     You can find tickets for the two separate dates via these links,
The tour runs just twice as mentioned above,  Wed 27  June (at 6PM)
then finally
one second and last time Saturday 14 July (at 12 noon)

We look forward to seeing you some of you there!

Please note:  all four walks mentioned in this newsletter are not Dublin Decoded walks, they are  IGS walks that I’m leading,  but not administrating.    Any ticket inquiries or other administrative inquiries should therefore please be directed to the IGS offices.  Many thanks.

Francis Wheatley Parolles Ambushed and blindfolded - Fota House

above:  ‘The Abduction of Parolles’, Francis Wheatley (1747-1801). Private collection

below: The Sheet of Water at Carton, County Kildare’,Thomas Roberts (1748-77). Private collection

Roberts-Sheet-of-Water-for-web

 

 

Planning for the long trm?  Beyond July?

Some General, key information about Dublin Decoded Public walks programme and our scheduling policy.

Unlike most larger, walking tour companies we do not ever host regular, scheduled public tours on any kind of repeating ctcle.   We prefer to keep things small,  to avoid routine, and we never work off a script.

We lead from 1 to 4 public tours each month,  but please note,  there’s no repeating schedule or cycle of tours.

That means our routes and dates, all change each month.

These public Dublin Decoded tours are partly aimed at Irish guests or at Dublin-based guests, and  therefore showcase the less obvious, or more overlooked parts of the city.   However everybody is very welcome to attend!   Since we run relatively few public tours however, and as dates are only decided a 2- 4 weeks in advance, many guests coming to Ireland prefer to order their own private walking tours. 

Tickets for upcoming Public Tours (those scheduled at the time of reading) should appear directly below.

To hear  future public walking tours, your best option, by far, is to subscribe to our handy free monthly mailshot / e-newsletter.   (We use MailChimp a reputable firm, who never share your data, plus it’s easy to unsubscribe any time)  To sign up for the newsletter go here.   Otherwise please see our public scheduled tours below, as they are currently scheduled.  Please do not use the Private form contact form to ask queries about public tours.  Thank you.

Public tour list below:  Any scheduled tour confirmed at the time of reading will appear below: 

Tour A: 

06th June 2018: Grafton St, an architectural & history walking tour. 6.30 PM

only the second time we’ve run this tour. The first time it sold out within hours. This is an architectural and history walking tour of Dublin’s most celebrated shopping street, with notes on its history from the 1600s to the present day, with stories, links and connections: everything from hidden workers to a famous sweet-shop to a castle in North Africa!   Plus a lot of very fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

This is an evening tour,  it starts at 6.30pm and takes approx. 90 minutes.  Concludes 8pm approx. Grafton St area/College Green.   Evening of Wednesday 06th June.

Book soon.  Blink and you’ll miss it!   Below:  a detail of the Northern half of Grafton St,  including our meet-point.  

Key meeting information, and the tickets for this Grafton St walk available via the ticket page, here.  

Grafton St Northern SEction (Code Fire Insurance map, British Library) N Section) North

Tour B:  Temple Bar  11.30 AM.  10th June 2018.

Description:  Temple Bar was the centre of Dublin’s bustling shipping, trading and mercantile community from the Viking and Norman medieval era, to the Early Modern era and beyond.   On this tour we’ll explore both the historic and the contemporary, everything from a former 1500s synagogue for Portuguese Sephardic Jews, down a tiny side street, to explosive factories for revolutionaries, to top-class contemporary architecture.  Everything from archaeology to architectural detailing, to forgotten history, moving buildings, green architecture, public art and the public realm.

Not to be missed  Advance booking strongly recommended.   Please book tickets using this link.

below:  a detail of Roque’s famous map, showing part of Temple Bar as it was in 19756.

TEMPLE BAR Roque

Tour c:   11.30 AM.   Saturday 23rd June 2018,

Henrietta Street to Grangegorman Walking tour, with Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded.

Our tour:   View and explore the history and architectural history of Henrietta Street and the King’s Inns, Broadstone and the Grangegorman district, among the least-known districts of Dublin, almost a terra incognito, with its high, stone walls and network of former prisons, historic hospitals, asylums and workhouses.   We’ll view and consider Francis Johnston’s huge Asylum and vast Women’s Penitentiary, as well as glancing to the future.   A tour not to be missed.  Key meeting information, and the tickets for this tour here.

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

Remember:

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

Please note the contact form page on the private tour pages is for private tour inquiries only.  Thank you.

All available information on upcoming public tours is here in the listings above.   Please do not send us an email asking about public tours several months in advance as we do not schedule that far and we will not be able to answer your email.

Information on our public tours is also available via our … monthly newsletter,  

If you are visiting Ireland a month or more from now and looking for a public tour and none appear above,  it is because have yet been scheduled.

 

Our free monthly newsletter also lists our public tour events.  Our mailing list is handled by MailChimp, a very reputable firm and it’s easy to unsubscribe at any time.    You are very welcome to join, via this link.

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