The Customs House, Dublin 1

The Customs House, Dublin 1

Gandons Customs House Dublin.

Gandon's Customs House, Dublin.

The Custom House was built by James Gandon between 1781 & 1791. It is a short walk from our door to the Custom House, situated on the north bank of the river Liffey. Its location was opposed by Dublin Corporation, city merchants & brewers in the 1780′s, who feared a devaluation of property in their older quarter of the city. The building was nevertheless sanctioned by The Irish Parliament. It replaced a structure further upstream on Wellington Quay. The Custom House was seized by the Dublin Brigade of the IRA on 25th May 1921. They saw the Custom House as a manifestation of British power in Ireland, and set the building ablaze. The fire burnt for 5 days, destroying the interiors & many paper records housed there.

Gandons Customs House, Dublin, Ireland

Customs House door detail

It was decided in 1926 to rebuild the Custom House on the existing shell. Similar reconstruction works were already underway at the  General Post Office, following its destruction during The Easter Rising of 1916. The exterior was altered as little as possible. New stone dressings were worked into the structure, to replace fire damage. The Dome, having collapsed during the fire, was re-instated in every external detail, except that it was constructed using local Ardbraccan limestone, rather than English Portland stone which Gandon had used. The stone has since darkened, and contrasts with the surviving Portland stone.

customs house portico detail

Customs House portico detail

The Customs House visitor centre allows access to a some of the building including an octagonal area with river views. The centre offers audio-visual tours including the Gandon Museum, historical information and customs administration.

Opening Times: Mid-March to Oct: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri; 2pm-5pm Sat, Sun, Bank Holidays
Nov to mid-March: 10am-5pm Wed-Fri; 2pm-5pm Sun; closed Sat

Admission: Adults £1, Family £3, group rates are 50p each

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