Dublin Castle was originally constructed in the 13th century on a place previously occupied by the Vikings in around the 9th century. Dublin Castle was built on the ridge on a strategic site where the River Liffey and its tributary the River Poddle meet. It is more than likely that originally there was an early Gaelic ring fort on the site. Dublin Castle was at its origin constructed as a strategic military fortress. It then became a prison, treasury, courts of law and finally the head quarters of British Administration for Ireland over a period of seven hundred years. The castle was extensively rebuilt and modified for purpose in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries
The Irish State now uses Dublin Castle for important receptions for visiting heads of State, Prime ministers and European dignitaries and also for Presidential Inaugurations.
The following are open to visitors and tourists;
- The beautiful State Apartments were constructed as the residential quarters of the then Viceregal court
- Chapel Royal
- Craft Shop
- Heritage Centre
But visitors and tourists risk that occasionally Dublin Castle is often shut at very short notice by the Irish Government without warning.
Dublin Castle had a dual role for many years. Firstly, it was the dungeon for state prisoners and secondly, it was the seat of the Parliament until 1684, which met in the Great Hall before the hall burnt down in the great fire and the Parliament situated itself in 1731 in College Green. The Court of the Exchequer and the Courts of Law as well met in Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle on top of all that had the repository of the Royal Treasury, the Royal Mint, police and army barracks, armaments factories and weapons stores.
As a major symbol of English occupation, Dublin Castle was a critical target during the Easter Rising of 1916, which started the first steps that ended for good British rule in southern Ireland.
Dublin castle also houses these museums;
- Revenue Museum
The Revenue Museum can be seen in the Crypt of the Chapel Royal. The focus of this interesting museum is the smuggling, taxes and duties in Ireland during its history. There is plenty to see!
- Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library is to be found on the ground floor of Dublin Castle. The library is world famous for its outstanding collection of Middle Eastern and Far East art. The collection in the Library has priceless manuscripts, old prints, a collection of icons and early miniature paintings, early printed books and objects d’art.
- Gardai Museum
The Irish police force museum, the Gardai, can be found in the 13th century Record Tower.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin