art, Historic

Inside the oldest house in Dublin!

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of 9A Aungier Street

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of 9A Aungier Street

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of 9A Aungier Street

Did I hear it right? Yes, I believe I was in the oldest house in Dublin the other day. They said that it was 351 years old! It was in a sorry state of repair but wow, it was incredible to get in, just to have a look.  It was open to the public during the Open House Dublin Weekend, an event which is organised by the Irish Architecture Foundation with over 100 tours, events and workshops exploring the rich architectural heritage of Dublin.

The house was at 9/9A Aungier Street. It looks pretty insignificant on the outside but the internal structure, except for the ground floor shop, is virtually unchanged since it was built in 1664. It has its original staircase, roof structure, medieval-style timber framing, 17th Century plan and remnants of original paint and plaster finishes which predate Georgian Dublin by over half a century!

Now, when I say unchanged, I mean the original material is still there but just hanging on by a thread. To be honest, I was amazed that we were let in at all, the place was in tatters, ancient old lathes and hairy plaster, rickety floorboards, holes in the walls, holes in the floor – as you can see from the photos above – it needed a bit more than a lick of paint!  But it was great, we loved it. Relics of a bygone age. And the fireplaces – they had gone through a fair few changes over the years – but you could still see bits of the originals. (An aside – wouldn’t that be a good idea – to do a series of paintings of old fireplaces!)  Oh wait, I’ve already begun that series, my solo exhibition “Diaspora” at the Olivier Cornet Gallery featured the first ten fireplaces… Next March, I’ll have more of them in an exhibition in An Gailearaí in Gweedore, Co. Donegal.

oil painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn. Tinteán Tréigthe, 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas
Tinteán Tréigthe, 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas

 

Your comments are always welcome.  Were you ever in an older house? Click on the little brown speech bubble up at the top right of this post and put your comment there. Thanks, eoin

http://www.angailearai.com/

http://architectureireland.ie/pre-georgian-grandeur-on-aungier-street

http://openhousedublin.com/index.php/home

http://www.emacl.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Inside the oldest house in Dublin!

  1. Beautiful; never been in a house that old that hasn’t been kept up with (unless caves count), Glad you’re going to Gweedore so I can finally see your work firsthand (I hope.)

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  2. What a very interesting opportunity. I expect you absorbed the essence of that old building. Do you know anything of its story? Looking forward to seeing the paintings that come from this visit 🙂

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    1. Thanks Janet, well yes, the guide gave us quite a history… it was built close to Dublin Castle, once the seat of British power in Ireland. This would’ve been a new, fashionable area at the time, on the Southern road out of the city… fashions change and this street is definitely not the fashionable area anymore – the rich merchants have moved out to more leafy suburbs, further South 🙂

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  3. Imagine how much this house has seen in its life! It must be full of ghosts (if you believe in them), memories and traces of human energy and emotions. Do you know what is going to happen to it? Is it going to be preserved?

    I love old houses. Modern architecture can be so cold – built quickly using mass produced stuff. Old houses always have that handmade feel to them, where every single detail has been thought through and made by a real artisan – brick maker, carpenter, blacksmith. Not sure what would be the oldest house I’ve ever been to… hmm… I’ll have to do some research. K.

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