As mentioned at the end of my last post, my wife, two daughters and three granddaughters hopped off the bus to visit the two cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick’s while my two sons-in-law, my grandson and I stayed onboard to continue the tour until we got to the Guinness Storehouse where we would hop off to visit. The plan was for the ladies to catch up with us outside the Storehouse and all ten of us would continue on the tour to O’Connell Street.
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The Catholic Church still claims that Christ Church is the Catholic archbishop of Dublin’s cathedral even though King Henry VIII kicked them out nearly 500 years ago. So the Catholic archbishop uses St Mary’s Church on Marlborough Street as its pro-cathedral, meaning “acting.” But that’s not the most confusing thing about Dublin’s cathedrals. There’s another church just down the street from Christ Church that is also a Church of Ireland cathedral — two cathedrals of the same church within a couple blocks of each other!
St Patrick’s was founded in 1191. It is the largest church in Ireland and its tower is the tallest. St Patrick’s has no archbishop. The archbishop of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough has his seat in Christ Church. St Patrick’s is the national Church of Ireland cathedral. Its boss is the dean. The most famous dean of St Patrick’s was Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels.
Sir Benjamin (1798-1868) was the grandson of Sir Arthur, the founder of Guinness Brewery in 1759. At the death of his father, Arthur II, Benjamin became the richest man in Ireland. He restored St Patrick’s in the 1860s with 150,000 pounds of his own money. He was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1851 and served in Parliament from 1865 until his death. He was originally a member of the Liberal party but switched to the Conservatives after the Liberals proposed a higher tax on beer.
The Teeling Distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin in 125 years. An ancestor of the present owners founded the original Teeling Distillery in 1782. At one time there were 37 distilleries operating in Dublin.
We hopped off here and spent a couple of hours touring all seven levels of the Storehouse. My next posting will be devoted to those couple of hours. We exited the Storehouse after those couple of hours and…
We then hopped on the next bus and continued our tour to O’Connell Street.
Dublin’s district called The Liberties is noted for all of its distilleries and breweries and includes the Guinness Brewery and the Guinness Storehouse. Christ Church and St Patrick’s cathedrals are both across the street from the eastern border of The Liberties.
The Masonry is an old warehouse that was renovated and is now a modern office building.
Thomas a Beckett was the archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered in 1170 on orders by King Henry II. In 1173 Thomas was canonized a saint and in 1177 Henry founded an Augustinian abbey in Dublin as a form of restitution for his evil deed. The abbey was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1539 and there is not a single trace left today.
St James Gate was the western entrance t0 the walled city of Dublin in medieval times. It was named after this church. Pilgrims to Camino de Santiago got their passports stamped at either the church or the nearby St James Gate brewery brewery and then sailed to Spain. The gate was demolished in 1734. 25 years later in 1759 Arthur Guinness took over the St James Gate Brewery and soon added his surname to his brewery.
Dublin’s county jail opened in 1796 and closed in 1924. It is now a museum.
Many of Ireland’s nationalist heroes, including the leaders of the 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 rebellions spent some time in Kilmainham. Sixteen of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Uprising were executed by the British government. Fourteen of them were shot by firing squads at Kilmainham between May 3rd and May 12th, 1916. Dublin’s three major railway stations are named after four of them: James Connolly, Sean Heuston and the brothers Patrick and William Pearse.
The rest of our tour was back on the north side of the River Liffey.
Phoenix park was a private hunting park in the 17th century. In the 18th century it became a public park. It still contains a large herd of deer. The park received an international large urban parks gold award in 2018.
We then drove up O’Connell Street and around Parnell Square and then back down O’Connell Street. We decided to end our tour half-way down O’Connell Street and so we hopped off near North Earl Street and did some shopping and dining on Talbot Street before walking home. See my post on O’Connell Street here for the photos I took on O’Connell, North Earl and Talbot Streets.
My next post will cover our visit to the Guinness Storehouse during the middle of our sightseeing tour.
Irish Music Bonus — I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me — Imelda May and the Dubliners.
On Christmas Night, 2012 the Dubliners performed for the last time. Imelda May, Irish singer, songwriter and musician, joined them that night and sang Barney McKenna’s favorite song in a tribute to him. If you missed it, go back to my post on Our Dublin Sightseeing Tour, Part One to hear Barney sing this song.