Take me to church

Don’t think this was here when the church was originally built

No, it’s not the song by Hozier but an interesting ex-church in the centre of Dublin. St. Mary’s Church was built in the early 18th century to serve the local Anglican community.  Arthur Guinness (founder of a certain well known brewery) married here. Jonathan Swift attended services in the church. John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church preached in it. In the run-up to the première of The Messiah, Handel practised on the church organ. Other people connected with the church, perhaps less known outside of Ireland were playwright Sean O’Casey, revolutionary Theobald Wolfe Tone and the judge who condemned Robert Emmett to death.

The church finally closed in the 1960s and lay derelict for three decades. Eventually it was renovated, at great expense, and converted into a bar and restaurant. The first time I stood in the building was for a birthday party and I remember there being a small nightclub in the vaults!

Headstones against the wall outside

Anyway, while you wait for your food and drink to arrive there’s plenty to look at. It is worth a wander around, just to see what a disused old church can be re-purposed as. The 19th century Ordnance Survey 25″ map notes that the grave yard outside is disused. The grave yard has since vanished and the leftover headstones left against a nearby wall.

The main bar

The toilets are located in the basement of the building and a trip to them is a convenient way to see a bit more of this interesting place. Hopefully my hastily taken mobile phone snaps will give some idea of what the place is like.