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Custom House, Dublin

Custom House by Barbara Ballard The Custom House was designed by James Gandon. In the 200+ year old building are a number of exhibitions on the history of this riverside landmark.

Unfortunately the building was burned in 1921 by Irish republican dissidents and large areas were destroyed, including the beautiful dome and most of the interior. It was rebuilt during the 1920s and radically altered internally, and changes were also made to its exterior. Further repairs and renovations were carried out 1984-1991.

The Custom House was originally constructed to house the revenue commissioners’ offices and the private apartments of the first commissioner, John Beresford. During the 19th century offices of the Board of Works, the Poor Law commissioners, and the local government board for Ireland were moved to the building. Throughout the 1920s to 80s various other departments came and went. Now the department of environment is housed in the building.

The exhibitions in the building tells about the activities of the various government offices that have occupied the rooms—revenue, communications, poor relief, public health, housing, hospitals, and environment. There is also a section devoted to the architect James Gandon and the design and construction of the building and one about the burning, reconstruction, and renovation.

In the interior are twin staircases, central vestibules beneath the dome, and interconnecting corridors, all of which were part of the original ceremonial entrance to the Long room, the main public space, which was destroyed in the fire. It was not rebuilt.

Custom House
Custom House Quay
Dublin 1
Tel. 8882538
Open: mid March-Oct, Mon-Fri, 10am-12.30pm; Sat and Sun and BH, 2-5pm; Nov-mid March, Wed-Fri, 10am-12.30pm; Sun 2-5pm.

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