The images below form part of a great series of Dublin images taken in 1867 by Frederick H. Mares. Today, they are held by the British Library. They were part of his work ‘Photographs of Dublin’. The below images and their descriptions come from the British Library digital collection.
“The Castle of Dublin is divided by a range of buildings into two courts or yards, the upper and the lower, into the former of which the principal entrance from Castle-street leads. The Lower Yard contains the Birmingham or Record Tower, the only remaining portion of the ancient fortress founded in 1205, and completed in 1220, by Henry de Londres, the notorious archbishop, whose name has been handed down to posterity with the unenviable sobriquet of ‘Scorchbill,’ from his having treacherously burned the writs and papers by which his tenantry held their houses and farms.
In close proximity to this rough and rude specimen of the fortifications of feudal times is the beautiful Chapel Royal, built on the site of an older structure (taken down in 1808), from the plans of Mr. Francis Johnson, at an expense of £42,000.
This beautiful edifice is seventy-three feet long, and thirty-five broad. The exterior is ornamented with no less than ninety heads, including all the sovereigns of England…The chapel was opened for worship in the year 1814.”
“The General Post Office stands on the west side of Sackville-street. It is 223 feet in front, 150 in depth, and three stories, or fifty feet, in height, to the top of the cornice. In front is a grand portico, eighty feet wide, of six fluted pillars of the Ionic order, four and a-half feet in diameter. The frieze of the entablature is highly enriched, and in the tympanum of the pediment are the royal arms. The pediment is surmounted by three statues, representing Hibernia,…Mercury,…and Fidelity…
A handsome balustrade surmounts the cornice, giving an elegant finish to the whole. With the exception of the portico, which is of Portland stone, the whole is of mountain granite. The building is after a design of Francis Johnston, Esq., and the foundation stone was laid by his Excellancy Earl Whitworth, on the 12th August, 1815, and was completed for about £50,000. The board-room contains a white marble bust of his excellency, over the chimney-piece.
Near the Post Office is situated Nelson’s Pillar. It consists of a pedestal, column, and capital of the Doric order, which is surmounted by a statue of Lord Nelson, leaning against the capstan of a ship. The entire height of the column and statue is 134 feet. There is an internal stair, by which the top can be reached, and from which a view of the city, bay, and surrounding country is obtained.”
“This magnificent building stands on the north bank of the Liffey, a short distance from Carlisle Bridge. It is 375 feet in length, and 205 in depth, and exhibits four decorated fronts – the south, or sea front, being the principal one. This front is composed of pavilions at each end, joined by arcades, and united to the centre. It is finished in the Doric order, with an entablature and bold projecting cornice. Over the pillars of the portico are statues of Neptune, Plenty, Industry, and Mercury. In the tympanum of the pediment, in alto-relievo, is represented the friendly union of England and Ireland. They are seated on a car of shell: Neptune with his trident driving away Famine and Despair, while a fleet at a distance approaches in full sail. The pavilions at each end are decorated with the arms of Ireland, beautifully executed. Allegorical heads on the keystones of the arches represent the different rivers of Ireland. A superb dome, 125 feet in height, surmounts the whole, on the top of which is a statue of Hope resting on her anchor, sixteen feet high…
The interior is divided into several public offices, including Excise, Customs, Stamps, Poor-Law, Board of Works, Quit-Rent, Commissariat, Records, and District Army Pay Office.
The building was designed by Mr. James Gandon, and the foundation-stone was laid in 1781. The cost of the building was upwards of £546,000.”
“This noble structure, formerly the parliament house, but purchased after the act of union by the company of the Bank of Ireland, is probably not exceeded in beauty of design by any building in Europe. It faces College-green, and is nearly at right angles to the front of the College. The centre of this edifice is a grand colonnade of the Ionic order, occupying three sides of a court-yard; the columns are lofty, and rest on a flight of steps, continued entirely round the court-yard, and to the extremities of the colonnade, where are the entrances, under two archways. The four central columns support a pediment, whose tympanum is ornamented by the royal arms; and on its apex stands a well-executed figure of Hibernia, with Fidelity on her right and Commerce on her left hand.”