Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

TCD Dublin was created by a royal charter of British Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. It was a time when all over Europe, universities were being founded. The need of the Universities was to provide an educated graduate class of people to serve as the administrators, clergy for the then Church of England, which is now known as the Church of Ireland and business leaders of the future. In Dublin this was seen as both putting Ireland on par with the rest of Europe and more important for the British in further strengthening of Protestant Reformation in Ireland. TCD is to be found right at the heart of Dublin.

TCD Dublin was self governing from the start and was laid out from the beginning based on the layouts of Oxford and Cambridge universities in the UK and some European continental universities. The first priority was the now famous library and early TCD students set about with gusto the stocking of the library (Students of today take note!!).

Although the next fifty years saw increases in size and European reputation its very existence was challenged by two external events that nearly finished off the fledgling university. The first was as a result of the 1641 rising the government collapsed following Oliver Cromwell’s campaign in Ireland and the Catholic rule of Tyrconnell in 1689 to 1691 and they closed the university, expelled the fellows and students, and converted the university buildings into a Jacobite military barracks!

In the eighteenth century a new library, printing house, dining hall, provost’s house, public theatre, anew chapel and west front were added. To some this century was the golden era of TCD as a glowing list of graduates such as Swift, Burke, Goldsmith, Grattan, Fitzgibbon and Tone dominated Irish literary and political life.

In the nineteenth century the University added the museum building and a host of new buildings just to the east of the College Park which reflected the increasing importance of science and medicine in Trinity.

In the early twentieth century funding provided by the Guinness family saw the construction of the beautiful physics and botany buildings and women students became part of the College and were admitted for the first time at the beginning of that century.

In the twentieth century the berkeley library, the arts building, the dental hospital, the o’reilly institute and the ussher library were added to the flourishing TCD.

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