An historical prison, now museum, offering daily tours
When you check in at Drury Court Hotel, you are very likely to hear a member of our team recommending a visit to Kilmainham Gaol (with Gaol pronounced just the same as jail!). It is, in our opinion, one of the most informative tours offered in Dublin, particularly if you are interested in understanding the tensions surrounding the founding of the Republic of Ireland and the history of the 1916 Rising.
The prison was first built and commissioned for use in 1796, and all tours do of course use this as a starting point. The prison has not been operational since the 1920s and in the late 1930s, the decision was first made to turn the site into a museum.
It is the detailed information about prisoners, conditions and punishments during both the Irish Famine and the Easter Rising that provide the focus of the tours and that offer greatest insight into the contemporary attitudes of those living in Dublin.
You may also recognise the interior of the Gaol, as it has been used as a backdrop in a number of films, including the Italian Job, Michael Collins and Paddington 2!
As the Gaol is now operated by the OPW (Office of Public Works), tour sizes are extremely limited and it can be a very popular visit. This is therefore one attraction that we absolutely recommend booking ahead of your check in to avoid disappointment.
Other Historical Attractions
14 Henrietta Street
A rare insight into an oft-overlooked chapter of Dublin’s history
Book of Kells & Trinity College
Ireland’s oldest university and home to the Book of Kells
The spiritual heart of the city centre since 1028
Dublin Castle & Chester Beatty Library
The historical centre of power in Ireland & an incredible private collection on display
Ireland’s Oldest Public Library
St Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built between the years of 1191 and 1270, on the site where St. Patrick is said to have baptized converts to Christianity.