AH30540 Georgian Dublin

Academic Year 2021/2022

The Georgian era, the period between 1714 and 1830, is arguably the golden age of architecture in Dublin. Following the turbulent decades of the seventeenth century, the political stability of the eighteenth century, coupled with a burgeoning economy and a rising population, fostered a renaissance in the cultural life of the city: by 1800, it was the eighth largest city in Europe and, after London, the second largest city in the British Atlantic world. Focusing on the key public buildings that loudly announced the new Protestant Ascendancy (including the Parliament House and Trinity College), on the design and construction of the city’s terraced houses and formal garden squares (from St Stephen’s Green to Fitzwilliam Square), and on the celebrated and unparalleled richness of the city’s domestic interiors (specifically plasterwork decoration), this course will consider how the shape of the modern city was created in response to both private and public interests.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to identify the individual contributions made by the leading architects and designers that created Dublin’s eighteenth-century urban landscape; understand the complex range of social, cultural, political and economic forces that helped shape the built environment; describe and analyse the principal characteristics of the various architectural and decorative styles practiced during the period; and appreciate both the material and ideological aspects of the city's architecture in its historical contexts.

Indicative Module Content:

Indicative lecture schedule:

Week 1.
Introduction: setting the scene
Case Study: Royal Hospital

Week 2.
Urban renaissance
Case Study: St Stephen’s Green

Week 3.
Case Study: Parliament House

Week 4.
Urban iconography
Case Study: Trinity College

Week 5.
Town houses
Case Study: Henrietta Street

Week 6.
Social and civic improvements
Case Study: Lying-in Hospital

Week 7.
Urban scenography
Case Study: Merrion Square

Week 8.
SITE VISIT: Domestic Architecture

Week 9.
Decorative plasterwork
Case Study: 20 Dominick Street

Week 10.
Case Study: Custom House

Week 11.
The Wide Streets Commissioners
Case Study: St George’s, Hardwicke Place

Week 12.
SITE VISIT: Public Architecture
Conclusion: a golden age?

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, supplemented by site visits. Lectures are divided into two sorts: thematic overviews and selected building studies. Taken together these will amplify students' understanding of key historical episodes and their expression in the built environment. Two mandatory site visits explore key aspects of domestic and civic typologies in the city.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: A Grand Tour of Dublin. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: 2,000 word essay. Week 7 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback on Written Assignment (due in Week 8) will allow students the opportunity to gauge their understanding of the module themes in advance of the final exam.

Brady, J. & A. Simms (eds.), Dublin through space and time c. 900–1900 (2001).
Casey, C. Dublin: the city within the Grand and Royal Canals and the Circular Road with the Phoenix Park (2005).
Craig, M. Dublin 1660 – 1860 (1959; rev. 1998).
Dickson, D. Dublin: The Making of a Capital City (2014).
Lennon, C. & J. Montague. John Rocque’s Dublin: a guide to the Georgian city (2010).
McCullough, N. Dublin: An Urban History (1989; rev. 2007).
McParland, E. Public Architecture in Ireland 1680-1760 (2001).
Usher, R. Protestant Dublin, 1660-1760: Architecture and Iconography (2012).
Name Role
Ms Carla Briggs Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 16:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 14:00 - 14:50