Marsh’s Library

Sir William Robinson & Thomas De Burgh , 1703 /
Saint Patrick's Close, Dublin 8
Saturday, 11am—5pm
Photo: Photographer: Sue Hemmens

Designed by the then Surveyor General of Ireland Sir William Robinson and built to the order of the then Archbishop of Dublin Narcissus Marsh. Marsh’s was the first public library in Ireland. The library was built in two stages. The first completed in late 1703 with the second gallery and the area known as the cages added between 1708 and 1709 designed by Robinson’s successor Thomas De Burgh. The library still features its original fittings, including seating and shelving. The bookcases are made of quarter-planed Baltic oak with carved and lettered gables. There are three wire alcoves, known as ‘cages’, which came into use as reading areas in the 1770s in response to thefts in the library. The library is one of the last 18th-century buildings in Ireland still used for its original purpose. It functions as both a working library for researchers with appointments and as a museum.

First Come Basis

Just show up and look out for Open House Dublin Volunteers.


  • Suitable for Children
  • Photography is not permitted on this tour

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