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The Custom House

The Custom House

Photographer: Mares, Frederick H

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1867

Shelfmark: 1782.a.14

Item number: 5

Length: 16.2

Width: 11.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

"This magnificent building stands on the north bank of the Liffey, a short distance from Carlisle Bridge. It is 375 feet in length, and 205 in depth, and exhibits four decorated fronts - the south, or sea front, being the principal one. This front is composed of pavilions at each end, joined by arcades, and united to the centre. It is finished in the Doric order, with an entablature and bold projecting cornice. Over the pillars of the portico are statues of Neptune, Plenty, Industry, and Mercury. In the tympanum of the pediment, in alto-relievo, is represented the friendly union of England and Ireland. They are seated on a car of shell: Neptune with his trident driving away Famine and Despair, while a fleet at a distance approaches in full sail. The pavilions at each end are decorated with the arms of Ireland, beautifully executed. Allegorical heads on the keystones of the arches represent the different rivers of Ireland. A superb dome, 125 feet in height, surmounts the whole, on the top of which is a statue of Hope resting on her anchor, sixteen feet high...

The interior is divided into several public offices, including Excise, Customs, Stamps, Poor-Law, Board of Works, Quit-Rent, Commissariat, Records, and District Army Pay Office.

The building was designed by Mr. James Gandon, and the foundation-stone was laid in 1781. The cost of the building was upwards of £546,000."

Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of Dublin'.

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