Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library
when you stay at Number 31
Dublin Castle was erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government. It is now a major government complex and a key tourist attraction. It is open every day from 9:45am - 17:45pm.
There is a museum within the castle. Since at least the seventeenth century, the collection at Dublin Castle has been an important expression of artistic and cultural production in Ireland and further afield. As early as May 1693 it was known to include two canopies of state, twelve stitched Irish elbow chairs and ‘Five pieces of Fine Tapestry Hangings’.
By 1813, it had been enriched with ‘varieties of elegant and valuable paintings’. Today, the collection consists of a wide variety of artworks from across the spectrum of the fine and decorative arts.
Join one of their experienced guides for a fascinating tour that takes you from the excavation site of Viking and medieval Dublin to the Gothic Chapel Royal and finally to the splendour of the former viceregal State Apartments. The Viking Excavation in the Medieval Undercroft is sited at lower ground floor level in the Lower Castle Yard, opposite the Chapel Royal. The city walls join the Castle at this point. The double archway and postern gate are still visible. The Chapel Royal is a gothic revival building designed by Francis Johnston. It is famous for its vaulting, its particularly fine plaster decoration and carved oaks and galleries. The State Apartments dominate the south range of the Great Courtyard. They were built as the residential and public quarters of the viceregal court and were the seat of the executive and focus of fashionable and extravagant social life.
The Chester Beatty library is within the grounds of Dublin Castle and open Tuesday to Sunday. Described by Lonely Planet as ‘not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe’, the Chester Beatty is the pre-eminent Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with holdings of manuscripts, rare books, and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. An engaging and welcoming space, visitors from Ireland and overseas will find permanent and temporary displays, an intercultural learning programme and a broad variety of public activities for all ages and backgrounds. Free drop-in public tours take place every Wednesday at 1pm, Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 3pm. Suitable for individual visitors, families and small groups (under 5 participants), these informal tours provide a general introduction to Chester Beatty’s exhibitions. From Egyptian Books of the Dead to contemporary Chinese woodblock prints, the collection captures the richness of human creative expression from 2700 BC to the present day.
For more information on Dublin Castle or The Chester Beatty, just ask at reception and we'd be happy to help.