A shop on Castle St

This gorgeous receipt from Sept 1845 is one of many among the Powerscourt Papers at the National Library of Ireland. The archive contains lots of receipts with details of shops long gone in Dublin. I especially like this one because not only does it include the quite typical business logo, but it also includes a picture of what the front of the shop looked like. We can see that this one is for Morrisons, No. 42 Castle St, which was a Hat Warehouse. The receipt text proclaims that Morrisons is a Waterproof Beaver & Silk Hat Warehouse, with a great variety of beaver bonnets, children’s hats, caps, etc. Under the drawing of the shop, there is a very polite statement: “No credit given”.

Receipt for Morrisons of Castle St ((C) National Library of Ireland)

Part of a receipt for Morrisons’ of Castle St (© National Library of Ireland)

The only remaining original house on Castle St is No. 4, which Dublin Civic Trust have restored to its original glory as a Merchant’s Townhouse, and the Trust website gives some more information about Castle Street. Hugh Morrison and Sons themselves mustn’t have lasted much longer; a street listing in 1862 states that No. 42 was occupied by Michael Walsh, and was a provision warehouse for hide, feather, and wool merchants. But bravo to the Morrisons for leaving the legacy of this gorgeous receipt.


A Long Lane

Long Lane was longer

Long Lane was longer

While it doesn’t make (as) much sense now, Long Lane was a very appropriate name for the street that ran from New Street/Clanbrassil St to Wexford St. Its length was originally 500 metres, but this was bisected by Bride St/Heytsbury St when that street was laid out in 1846.

Long Lane exists on Rocque’s map of 1760 and the plan of the city in 1797. This area was the Earl of Meath’s Liberty, and the most significant building on the street was the Meath Hospital. This was built on the south side of Long Lane in 1821, moving from its earlier location in The Coombe (the portico of the original building still stands in The Coombe). The hospital was built on what Rocque’s map calls “Naboth’s Vineyards”, which had been bought by Dean Swift in 1722 (it was also called Dean’s Vineyards). Writing in 2008, Walsh states that the wall between the hospital and Long Lane includes sections built by Dean Swift.

meath hospital

The site was purchased from him after a donation of £6000 from Thomas Pleasants, whose money went to build the new hospital. He did not live to see the hospital opened. Money had been sought from the Duke of Leinster and Lord Powerscourt, but in the end Pleasants was the main benefactor. He was rewarded with a street in his own name nearby.

The northern side of Long Lane had on the early maps a Cabbage Garden marked on an area of about two acres. This included the site of the current DIT building on Kevin St., and my own office. Strangely, the recording of brassicas at this site continued onto the early Ordnance Survey map, which seems rather quaint. After its bisection by Bride St., the eastern end of Long Lane initially retained its original name. Buildings here included St Sepulchre’s Marshalsea, now the site of a modern apartment complex, and of course St Kevin’s Church, now a ruin. However, by the end of the century, the eastern end of the lane had been renamed Camden Row. The cabbage gardens were also gone by this stage; replaced by saw mills. The Earl of Meath’s legacy is still visible in a row of houses on the remaining section of Long Lane known as Meathville Terrace.


  • Peter Gatenby (2005) The Meath Hospital, Dublin, Dublin Historical Record, 58(2), 122-128.
  • David Mitchell (1989) A Medical Corner of Dublin (1711 to 1889), Dublin Historical Record, 42(8), 86-93.
  • Dave Walsh, The Ghosts of Archbishop Marsh, Swift and Stella, Dublin Historical Record, 61(2), 194-196.