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22 June 2024  

Merrion Square Open Day 2015


National Heritage Week 22 - 30 August 2015.   

As part of the celebration of National Heritage Week, NUI is taking part in Merrion Square Open Day.

Dublin’s Merrion Square open Day is a day of special events celebrating the rich and diverse heritage of Merrion Square and its surroundings. Visitors will have an opportunity to see properties not often open to the public and enjoy special talks, walks, and music in a programme with something for everyone. Places for some events and tours are limited and are allocated on a first come basis.

49 Merrion Square is a listed Georgian building. What is known about the house is that it was built by George Kent some time between the 1790s and 1814. The house was leased in 1818 by Sir Robert Way Harty, who was later elected Lord Mayor of Dublin. He is generally credited with having commissioned the mural paintings, which are such an important feature of the house. Christine Casey, in her authoritative study Dublin: The City within the Grand and Royal Canals and the Circular Road with the Phoenix Park comments that ‘these are the most ambitious c19 painted interiors in Dublin’.

The murals completely cover the walls from the dado upwards with the mural or murals on each wall being set in illusionistic wooden frames. The sources and inspirations for these Italianate landscape scenes, which include classical andmythological references, were taken from works by a number of artists including Claude Lorrain, Rubens, Salvatore Rosa and Grimaldi. Due to the absence of documentary evidence, the identity of the artist is unknown. Nevertheless, the scale and quality of the cycle of mural paintings in 49 Merrion Square in its scale and quality is unique in Dublin and is significant in terms of the Georgian heritage of interior decoration.

Note on No.49 Merrion Square

Number 49, on the east side of one of Dublin's best-known Georgian squares, has been home to the Central Office of the National University of Ireland since 1912. Situated as it is in Merrion Square, the premises are designated by Dublin City Council as a building listed for preservation in the category 'List 1', which includes the finest of historic buildings in the city.

We will be welcoming visitors on Saturday 29 August between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to view the unique 19th century Georgian murals on the first floor.

Full details of other events taking place on Merrion Square are listed in the Merrion Square Open Day Programme see link below.

Information on National Heritage Week can be found on the Heritage Council's website  http://www.heritageweek.ie/




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