Georgian Era Dublin

The Georgian Era in the history of England is the time period between 1714 to 1830 during which King George I, II, III and IV were ruling the country. During this time, Ireland was also a territory of England and the rulers of Britain were also responsible for governance in the country.

The period is considered significant because of the numerous political and technological developments that promoted improvements in the social life of common people.

Dublin is the capital city of Ireland due to t which it is considered as one of the most important cities of the country. The fast-paced developments in the Georgian Era also affected Dublin and the city experienced many positive changes during this time. During this time, a number of steps were taken to make Dublin a better-planned city and that has resulted in the progress of the city in many ways.

A Georgian Era building in Dublin
A Georgian Era building in Dublin

Major developments in Dublin during the Georgian Era

The city of Dublin was made in an old medieval style along the banks of the River Liffey and like most cities that developed around that time, the buildings in Dublin also faced their back to the river. Under King Charles II, it was ordered that all houses should have their fronts facing the city.

This helped the city to prevent the River Liffey from becoming a place for dumping the sewage of the city and brought it to the center. However, in order to make it a fully planned city, many other changes were also required.

These much-needed changes in the development of the city were brought during the Georgian Era. The first major development that was introduced was the broadening of the streets. For this, the Wide Streets Commission was formed. The commission demolished all the smaller and less wide streets in the city.

Instead, a wider street was constructed which was named Sackville Street. This was the central street in the city and was connected to many others through bridges.

Widened Central Street in Dublin
Widened Central Street in Dublin

The next major change that was brought in Dublin was the reconstruction of the major buildings. It was done in order to prepare the city for the increasing population and to meet the needs of the future. The first building that was constructed was the Royal Exchange. This was followed by the rebuilding of the castle in the city according to the latest Georgian architecture.

Development of Property in Dublin during Georgian Era

In order to meet the needs of the growing population of the city of Dublin, it was required to construct new residential complexes. For this, the major areas were pointed out that could house such buildings and they were divided into precincts.

Further, each of the precincts was allotted to one property developer who was responsible for the construction of the residential buildings. However, the property developers were provided with all the details of the style, design and location of each building. Once the construction was completed, the city came to be known as Georgian Dublin.

Apart from the residential buildings, a number of public buildings were also constructed in the city. The first one among these was the King’s Inn where barristers were provided training and were awarded a degree. Due to the reputation of the area, many prominent political and judicial figures of the country invested in property around King’s Inn and started to live there.

River Liffey in center of Dublin
River Liffey in center of Dublin

Political Developments in Dublin during the Georgian Era

Once the major tasks of construction of the new buildings were over and new buildings had been constructed both in the northern and southern parts of the cities, the Protestants living in the city had already acquired the best locations to live in. It was because they were the ruling community in the city and owned almost all the resources.

However, it was not much later when The Act of Union was passed and the Parliament of Ireland merged with the British Parliament located in London. As a result of this, almost all the prominent political figures of Ireland left their houses and moved to London.

Some of them used to visit Dublin during holidays and Christmas season, but gradually they also stopped this practice. By 1801, most of the houses that were constructed as a part of Georgian Dublin were abandoned, which resulted in a sharp decline in the economy of the country.

A Planned Symmetrical Building of Georgian Times in Dublin
A Planned Symmetrical Building of Georgian Times in Dublin

Due to the loss that Dublin had experienced as a result of The Act of Union, the buildings that were constructed as a part of the Georgian Dublin were started to be seen as a symbol of British domination in Ireland. When the country gained independence, most of them were demolished as it was felt that they have not been constructed in a way that was familiar with the Irish identity.

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