The rise and demise of Dublin is a story you can tell better on Henrietta Street than anywhere else in the city. In the eighteenth century, it was a street of the so-called ‘Second City of the Empire’, home to many sedan chair owners and members of the ruling elite, but in-time it came to define the extreme and grotesque poverty of inner-city Dublin, synonymous with overcrowded tenement life. The 1911 Census shows a street where general labourers made up a sizeable percentage of residents, those who found themselves caught up in the precarious working environment of the day.
Now, 14 Henrietta Street is about to open its doors. This is thanks to the ‘Dublin Tenement Experience: Living The Lockout’ project, a collaborative effort by the Irish Heritage Trust, Dublin City Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
By opening 14 Henrietta Street to the public from early July, Dubliners and visitors alike can explore a house which was home to an incredible 17 working class families at the time of the 1911 census. The website for the experience will go live in a matter of days, and can be visited here.
We’re delighted to post a few pictures from inside no.14, giving you a taste of what to expect. We’ll be running an article or two on Henrietta Street historically during the months of July and August. With the 1911 Census so central to our understanding of this house and those who lived in it, readers might be interested in three CHTM! articles exploring that census. Firstly, we have looked at Atheists and Agnostics in that census, while we’ve also looked at foreign nationals and unusual religions.