Custom House Dublin
The Custom house is a colossal 18th Century neo-classical building which houses the Departments of the Environment, Community and Local Government. Located on the North Bank of the River Liffey, no view of Dublin’s skyline is complete without a view of one of Dublin’s architectural jewels, which can be best appreciated from the south side of the river.
The lavish Custom house was designed by the English architect James Gandon. Construction of the building went on for 10 years from 1781-91. The construction of the building was met with much opposition from the Dublin Corporation and the city’s merchants and dock workers, who saw its construction as an attempt to move the axis of the city eastwards, which it almost certainly was.
The building underwent significant reconstruction work during the 20th century following a fire that destroyed the interior of the building. The Custom House was seized by the Dublin Brigade of the IRA on 25th May 1921 during the War of Independence. They saw the Custom House as a manifestation of British power in Ireland and set the structure ablaze. The fire burned for 5 days, destroying the interiors & many paper records housed there.
Tours of the building can be taken through the Custom-house Visitor Centre, where you will be led on a guided tour through most of the building, where knowledgeable guides will describe the history and significance of one of the must-see attractions in Dublin city.
Opposition to the Custom-house by the city’s merchants was so strong that reputedly James Gandon had to be snuck into Dublin and took to carrying a broadsword to work. Who would have believed being an architect could be so dangerous?
Address: Custom House, Dublin 1
Tel: +353 (0)1 888 2000
Hop off the CityScape Tour at: Stop 11 Custom House Quay (see Route Map)