St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, Dublin 8

Located beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, Marsh’s Library boasts a collection of some 25,000 books and 300 manuscripts. It is Ireland’s oldest public library that was founded in 1707 and built for Narcissus Marsh, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. Many of the books contained here were donated from Narcissus Marsh’s personal collection and cover topics relating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in medicine, law, science, travel, navigation mathematics, music and classical music.

Notable features of the library are its original fittings, including seating and shelving, bullet holes from the Easter Rising in certain bookcases and three wire alcoves, known as “cages”, that were put in place as a response to library thefts in the 1770’s.

The author: Nick Fitzgerald