In this week’s blog our Account Executive, David O’ Donnell takes a look at a number of history walks due to talk place over July and August as part of the ‘Summer in the Liberties’ programme. With 800 years of history, the Liberties is renowned as the historic quarter of Dublin. These walks will explore the story of commercial life in the area, the areas intricate connection with distilling and brewing and the history of its ancient churches and beautiful cathedrals and the characters.
Whiskey, You’re the Divil
Thursday, 14th July – 11am
At the heart of Dublin’s former ‘golden triangle’ of distilleries and brew houses, the story of the Liberties is inextricably linked to whiskey distilling and brewing and subsequently for many years the wealth of the whiskey industry was channeled into many of the beautiful churches and cathedrals in the area.
Kieran Doyle O’Brien will guide a tour through the Dublin 8 quarter, exploring its vanished distilleries, the world-famous Guinness Brewery, as well as some of its stunning churches.
The free tour will commence at Cornmarket, Dublin 8 on Thursday, 14th July at 11am and further information is available here.
Lost Fashion History of the Liberties
Saturday, 23rd July – 2pm
The Liberties was once the thriving textile district of Dublin and over the years the quarter has seen all kinds of textile production come and go, from silk and linen weavers, leather tanners, cloth dyers and poplin manufacturers.
Join Ruth Griffin on a stroll of the Liberties to look at where and how textiles were produced in the area from Tailors’ Hall, Francis Street, Weaver’s Street and Newmarket Square to the National College of Art and Design on Thomas Street, the only Irish university institution specialising in Art and Design.
The Liberties: Marks of Religion, Sanctity & Fervour
Thursday, 28th July – 11am
Explore the fascinating social history of the Liberties with Reg McCabe of Time Theme Tours. Renowned in song and story, with a rich and vibrant community life, the Liberties has long held a fascination as the home of the ‘true Dub’.
This walk commences on Thursday, 28th July at 11am and begins at The Liberty Belle Public House on Francis Street in the heart of Dublin’s Art & Antiques Quarter and takes you through the streets and lanes of the characterful area to explore churches, a long-lost abbey, colourful local characters and a long history. To register your place click here.
Hidden History: Uncovering the Slígh Mhor and Thomas Street
Thursday, 4th August – 11am
James’s Street and Thomas Street form part of the ancient western road into Dublin, An Slígh Mór. These streets are also among the city’s oldest thoroughfares and have been the commercial heart of the Liberties for centuries.
Recent archaeological discoveries unearthed as part of street works in 2014 have brought to light a fascinating hidden history to the street. From the remains of a late medieval gate, to 17th century city defences, to artefacts from a possible tiller off Crocker’s Lane.
The walk, guided by Archaeologist Antoine Giacometti will take you along the route where some of the treasures uncovered in the 2014 dig are explained, offering you a window into the past life of these streets. The walk starts at The Obelisk Fountain on James Street on Thursday, 4th August. Further information is available here.
Walking in Dublin’s Viking and Medieval Footprints
Thursday, 11th August – 11am
The area around Christ Church Cathedral lies at the heart of the medieval city of Dublin. Although it’s been much altered by 20th century interventions, links to its fascinating past can still be found.
Peter Herbage of Dublinia is walking in the footprints of Dublin’s earliest citizens, exploring the old city walls, Dublin’s oldest surviving church, the guild houses of the mercantile city and the fascinating story of Wood Quay and its archaeological discoveries of the early Viking settlement.
This free tour will start from Dublinia on St Michaels Hill on Thursday, 11th August at 11am and also includes a visit to the Dublinia centre. Further information on this tour is available here.
The Liberties: Rebels, Royals, Rabble and Rubble
Saturday, 13th August – 11am
For centuries the Liberties stood apart from the city of Dublin as a distinctive area under the jurisdiction, first of the Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr, and later of the Brabazon family, the Earls of Meath. The Liberties operated as a semi-independent fiefdom with its own laws, customs and levies. Its autonomy from the city’s Corporation drove the area’s industrial prowess over the centuries, but the area was also a hotbed of sedition and dissent.
Closely bound to the stories of Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Robert Emmet, the area also saw fighting in the 20th century during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Mark Jenkins will lead a tour of the ‘hallowed halls and houses’ of the Liberties and will explore the role the area played in the struggle for Irish freedom. The tour will start at Cornmarket on Saturday, 13th August at 11am. Further information on this tour is available here.
Black Pits: The Industrial Past of Newmarket and The Tenters
Thursday, 18th August – 11am
Located beside the Poddle, a tributary of the River Liffey, the area known as the Blackpitts developed into one of Dublin’s most industrialised areas and its eponymous pits were created for the tanning industry that thrived in the area from medieval times. The great public market space of New Market was set out by the area’s landowner, the Earl of Meath in the 1620’s to rival a similar space north of the Liffey at Smithfield. Despite the area’s 20th century decline, you don’t have to look far for markers to a more prosperous past.
Local historian Cathy Scuffil tells the fascinating story of the Blackpitts and Tenters looking at the communities that lived here. This illustrated talk starts at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery on Newmarket on Thursday, 18th August at 11am. Further information on this tour is available here.