While waiting for my train this week before returning to Cork, I took advantage of the lovely Spring sunshine to stroll around the area beside the Irish Rail Dublin terminus at Heuston.
We rush in and rush out of this building, eager to catch a train or a bus or a tram, too busy to appreciate where we are. The magnificent building that is Dublin Heuston train terminus was originally constructed to conceal the train sheds and platforms.
Dating from 1846, it was designed by an English architect, and designer of many railway stations, Sancton Wood (1815-1866) . It is in the style of an Italian Palazzo and is highly decorated.
Constructed on behalf of the Great Southern and Western Railway company it was originally known as Kingsbridge. Our mother, being from a railway family, always referred to this place as Kingsbridge.
It was so named as the terminal is adjacent to a cast iron bridge crossing the Liffey that was known as King’s Bridge which was constructed in 1823 to commemorate the visit in 1821 of King George IV. In 1923 the bridge was renamed Sarsfield Bridge and in 1941 it was renamed Séan Heuston Bridge.
Séan Heuston was born in Dublin and joined the Great Southern and Western Railway as a clerk in Limerick at the age of 17. He was transferred to Kingsbridge in 1913. He became one of the leaders of the 1916 rising in Ireland against the British. He was the youngest man executed for his part in the Easter Rising against British Rule. He was shot by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol in May 1916.
The bridge has many very nice ornamental ironwork panels.
The view from the Séan Heuston Bridge down the Liffey is dominated by the famous Guinness James Gate Brewery, seen here on the right bank of the river. The famous Harp logo can be seen on the darker building, amid the high tech steel structures on the site.
Across the road from Heuston Station is the very impressive Dr Steevens Hospital. Now an administrative building for the health authority, the hospital was founded in 1720 by the sister of Dr Richard Steevens (1653-1710), under the terms of his will.
It’s quite amazing to think that patents accessed the hospital through these impressive doors almost 300 years ago
Guinness Brewery, founded in 1759, donated small bottles of stout to the patients from the brewery next door. The tradition of giving hospital patients a daily stout persisted well into the 20th century in many Irish hospitals.
There is always something interesting to discover in Dublin!