Dublin has developed from the arrival of the Vikings to the creation of Victorian suburbs.
The area around O’Connell Street is considered the centre of the modern city of Dublin. However the historic centre of the city lies westwards around Christ Church Cathedral where the Vikings built a settlement in the 9th century. The hill where Christ Church now stands was an ideal, defensive site for the Viking settlement. In the 12th century the Normans added strong stone walls. The medieval city continued to grow and included a castle, churches and,
Then there is the cathedral, two cathedrals in fact, introducing the Dublin habit of unnecessary duplication.
The leading industrial quarter of 18th century Dublin was positioned in the south-west of the city and the Guinness brewery occupies an area bigger than the whole of medieval Dublin. The north-west of Dublin was another predominantly commercial quarter and also includes Phoenix Park.
The town planners of the 18th century swept away much that had gone before, as they shifted the centre of Dublin eastwards with their impressive public buildings, wide streets and noble squares.
In the south-east, the Fitzwilliam family rejected the style of Dutch gabled houses in favour of the late Georgian style. In the 1900s, similar style houses were built in the Victorian suburbs of Rathmines and Rathgar.
The north-east of Georgian Dublin was an upper-class residential zone similar to that in the south-east but in this case the dominant land owning family were the Gardiners.
This episode of ‘Irish Landscape’ was broadcast on 16 January 1969. The presenter is David Timlin.
‘Irish Landscape’ was a series exploring the many factors contributing to the landscape in which we live.