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1895 – The Stags Head, Dame Court, Dublin

Architect: Alfred I. McGloughlin




One of Dublin’s most lavish late Victorian pubs, The Stags Head was built in 1895. It is for a reason that Dublin barmen were known as curates and this bar is a good example of public house architecture as an almost religious experience. The architect incidentally used to draw perspectives of churches, for his employer George C. Ashlin. With its panelling, arcading, mirrors and stained glass, the interior is almost as built and well maintained.

McGloughlin’s career in Dublin was quite short. In 1894he opened his own office in Dame Street, but continued working for Ashlin, being active on the Portrane Asylum project. His career in Dublin being brought to an end in 1897 when a domestic scandal, a liaison with a servant in the house, compelled him to leave Ireland for New York where he became one of the principal architects involved in the construction of the Ernest Flagg’s Singer Building.

The exterior has an arcade of round headed windows down one side while the main facade has projecting bay windows above a granite and marble ground floor facade. Until recently a mosaic tile panel advertising the bar was set into the pavement on Dame Street in front of the entrance to Dame Court.

The interior is almost as built and very well maintained. Recently immortalised in a Guinness ad campaign, the bar is well worth a visit at night, when the mirrors and glass, glisten in the lighting. There is a nice snug or small room off to the back of the main bar.

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