8 Iconic Irish Buildings Still Standing

What you need to know about Ireland’s most iconic buildings still standing

Dublin Castle

Built between 1208 and 1220 it was the centre of the English colonial administration’s headquarters for more than 700 years. This made it a prime location for attack in the 1916 uprising. The rising’s first victim was a policeman who was shot as he closed the gate of the castle by the rebels approaching.



BJ Morahan’s pub, Co. Roscommon

The Morahan family first opened their pub in Co. Roscommon back in 1641. Since then it has been passed down through generations of the family. This makes it the longest family-run establishment in Ireland.



Custom House, Dublin

During the war of independence The Custom House was partly burnt down by the IRA. The reconstruction of the dome was done with Irish limestone as there was opposition to using the original one sourced from England. This resulted in the darker shade of limestone we see today.

Customs House


Newgrange, Co. Meath

This 5000 year old passage-tomb in the Boyne Valley, predates the pyramids and is surely the most iconic structure in Ireland.The illumination of the chamber during the winter solstice draws crowds from around the world and many enter the lottery for a place inside the chamber during the event. It’s estimated that this historic structure used 200,000 tonnes of material and took 30 years to build with a workforce of 300.



Poolbeg Chimneys

This power station is locally known as the Pigeon House as it lies adjacent to what once was the Pigeon House generating station. The chimneys are up there with the tallest structures in Ireland but these towers not identical twins. Tower number 2 is a foot taller that tower number 1.

Poolbeg Chimneys


Glucksman Gallery, Cork

This award-winning gallery is set in the tranquils grounds of UCC. Only finished in 2004 this gallery gives the impression of always being there, blending seamlessly into the landscape and trees.  It’s important to know where our buildings come from and we have this gallery thanks the American philanthropist Lewis Glucksman. Glucksman also contributed to the Millennium wing in the National Gallery in Dublin.



Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol is one of Europe’s largest prisons that is not in use. Famous for the incarceration and executions of most of Ireland’s leaders of rebellions it’s one of Ireland’s most important historical monuments. Initially all prisoners shared cells, including women and children but when separated, a difference in treatment of women and men was apparent. While everyone suffered poor treatment and conditions in their cells, men were provided with an Iron bed frame while women were merely given straw on the cold stone floor to lie on. The last prisoner to be held at the gaol was political leader Eamon DeValera.



Bunratty Castle

This 15th century tower house in Co. Clare is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, along with its ‘folk park’ which shows what life would have been like for the local community at the time. The current castle is the fourth to be built on the site, with the first timber castle built for a Norman knight in the 1200s. What followed was a long and bloody history where the castle changed hands and was burned down many times. Today it remains the most complete medieval fortress in Ireland.