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College Green

What’s important?

“A grand and exhilarating public space framed by the classical facades of Parliament House and Trinity College, and dramatized by rhetorical bronze statues of national political and literary heroes”I

Described as the ‘cross roads of the city’II College Green, or Hoggen Green as it was known in the days of the Vikings, has been a place of assembly from the earliest times. With its wide sweep of carriageway, imposing buildings and sense of civic purpose it remains a place of public gathering whether in celebration, commemoration or expectation. In addition spectacular 19th century bank interiors present a unique feature of the heritage of buildings in terms of their number and collective character.

‘The relative calmness of the (18th) century saw a period of colourful expansion for Trinity. During this century Trinity was the University of the Protestant Ascendancy. Parliament …meeting on the other side of College Green … viewed it benevolently and made generous grants for building. Most of the outstanding Irishmen of the eighteenth century, including Swift, Berkeley, Burke, Goldsmith, Grattan and Tone, were Trinity graduates, and the influence of their university is discernible in their writings and speeches … Despite similarly grandiose buildings on the north side of the city in this period, the area south of College Green remained the most popular for learned societies, cultural institutions and educational institutions well into the early twentieth century.’III

‘Work on Parliament House began in 1729 to the designs of the amateur architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce (1699-1733). At a time when English and Scottish MPs were housed in makeshift accommodation in Westminster, Parliament House was magnificently impressive…The building was later extended to both the east and west behind curved walls and a great portico added round the corner by James Gandon in the 1780s. Parliament House formed a dramatic focal point in the City opposite Trinity College, another great eighteenth-century layout. When the Irish Parliament was abolished in 1801, the building was sympathetically converted to house the Bank of Ireland.’

  1. Casey, C. The Buildings of Ireland – Dublin
  2. Dublin Civic Trust, DCBA. Defining Dublin’s Historic Core
  3. Archbold, J. Creativity, the City & the University A Case Study of Collaboration between Trinity College Dublin & some nearby Cultural Institutions

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