Our Medieval Walls Walk is a complete circuit and exploration of the medieval walls of Dublin, both in a physical sense, and as an exploration of the walls in the imagination and through Dublin’s history; through maps, conversation, story and historic detail.
Once a palisade of wooden stakes erected from 841 by Dublin’s Viking founders, and later re-built as thick, high stone walls by the Anglo-Norman conquerors, the walls delineated and defined the city for generations of medieval Dubliners. Citizens of the city felt their reassuring presence, as they limited, protected and defined a sense of place for centuries.
We will follow their route along castle walls, down backstreets and side lanes, as the wall appears, disappears and reappears again, using maps, historic accounts, tell-tale street names and physical clues in the present city landscape to guide us along our way.
Along our route we will consider towers and gates, prisons and bridges, fires, plague, invasion and revolution. We’ll see the impact on the modern street plan, and contemplate how it helped shape the current-day city of Dublin.
We normally meet and start outside the West door of City Hall on Cork Hill (directly across the road from the Dublin Rates Office) We then walk a complete circuit of the ancient city walls, whether currently visible above ground or not.
This is an especially fun tour. We hand out maps of the medieval walls to all our guests. We then use these maps to trace the line of the old walls in the existing, modern-day streetscape. This requires a lot of imagination, map reading, navigation and guess work, and at times has an element of hunting for clues about it.
A terrific tour, that will bring out the Indiana Jones in everyone!
This tour is run as a public tour from 2- 4 times per year, when, like all our public tours, it’s naturally open to all. If any of these Medieval walls tours are currently scheduled then they will appear in the listings of our Public Tours Page.
Alternatively, we also offer and run the tour as a private activity for your own, private group, on a date of your own choosing. Please use the green button to select your date and to book your own private Medieval Walls tour. Thank you.
NB: From late-May to mid- October this tour normally includes the ancient church of Saint Audoen’s, established 1190 and the oldest continually- operating parish church in Ireland. (The exact dates vary year on year, but in general the Medieval visitor centre is closed during the winter season)
images above: top left: images from recent version s of our Medieval walls tour, as wellas a reproduction of artist Iain Barber’s superb painted image of Viking Dublin; and in the ruined Portlester Chapel at St Audoen’s church and visitor centre.