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1785 – Examination Hall, Trinity College Dublin

Architect: Sir William Chambers


Designed by Sir William Chambers, the Examination Hall faces across the main quadrangle towards the Chapel which he also designed. Also known as the Public Theatre and intended for public meetings at the university, the Examination Hall is like the Chapel a large single vaulted chamber with an apse.

As the theatre is encased in a larger building, it was not possible to light it internally except for placing semicircular windows in the coved ceiling. These are augmented by three large round headed windows placed in the apse of the room. Like the hallway in the Provost’s House, wooden panelling is used here to suggest masonry creating a feel of solidity and mass.

The interior contains many fine furnishings including an organ in the gallery. This came from the previous Chapel and was designed and built in Dublin around 1684. It is the oldest existing Irish made organ case and as such one of the most important in Britain and Ireland. The chandelier which is made of gilded wood came from the former House of Commons. Like the Chapel, the plasterwork is by the Irish stuccodore Michael Stapleton.