Tourist Information Dublin

The Custom House, Dublin

The Custom House in Dublin is a neoclassical 18th century building which houses the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

The Visitor Centre is located in and around the Dome or Clock Tower area that contains the most important interior features to have survived the destruction of the buildings by fire in 1921 during one of the more dramatic events of the War of Independence.

The Custom House was designed by James Gandon to act as the new custom house for Dublin Port and was his first large scale commission. Every available mason in Dublin was engaged in the work and it cost £20,000 and opened in 1791.

The four facades of the building are decorated with coats-of-arms and ornamental sculptures (by Edward Smyth) representing Ireland's rivers. Another artist, Henry Banks, was responsible for the statue on the dome and other statues.

Overtime, the port of Dublin moved further downriver, so the building's original use for collecting custom duties became obsolete, and it was used as the headquarters of local government in Ireland.

During the Irish War of Independence in 1921, the Irish Republican Army burnt down the Custom House, in an attempt to disrupt British rule in Ireland. The original interior was completely destroyed in the fire and the central dome collapsed. A large quantity of irreplaceable historical records including birth certificates were also destroyed in the fire.

The restoration work was completed in 1928 and the results of this reconstruction can still be seen on the building's exterior today – the dome was rebuilt using Irish Ardbraccan limestone which is noticeably darker than the Portland stone used in the original construction.

Further restoration and cleaning of the stonework was done in the 1980s.

Opening Times

Mid March-October
Monday-Friday: 10am-12.30pm
Saturday-Sunday/Bank Holidays: 2pm-5pm
November-Mid March
Wednesday-Friday: 10am-12.30pm
Sunday: 2pm-5pm

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Ticket Prices

Admission Prices:

Adults €1
Family €3
Students free

Group Admission Prices:
€0.50 per person

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Disabled Facilities

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More Information

Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 8882538
Email: margaret_arbuckle@environ.ie

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Click a thumbnail image to view a large photo.

Location Map

Find out how to get to The Custom House with directions and maps from Google.
Custom House Quay,
Dublin 1,
Dublin

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