Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Historical, Social
In Use As
Heritage centre/interpretative centre
1885 - 1895
Attached single-bay three-storey former hanging house, built c.1890, having external staircase leading to entrance at first floor level, and double-height porch to south of this. Now disused and part of museum. Lean-to slate roof, monopitched to porch, with cast-iron rainwater goods. Exposed rubble limestone walls. Elliptical-headed window opening with cut limestone keystone, surround and sill, wrought-iron bars and six-over-six pane timber sash windows to first floor of south elevation. Round-headed door opening with timber-battened door, wrought-iron strap hinges and spoked fanlight to south elevation. Elliptical-headed door opening with red brick voussoirs, approached from east by granite steps to first floor of east elevation. Square-headed door opening with recent door to ground floor east elevation of porch. Attached to south-east corner of west wing, built 1796, and south-west corner of east wing, built c.1860.
In the early nineteenth century persons convicted of capital offences were hanged in public from gallows erected over the front entrance to the gaol. The last public execution took place in 1868, following the Capital Punishment and Prisons Act. A temporary gallows was constructed in one of the exercise yards and executions were carried out there from 1883 to 1893. Hangings are recorded in the hanging house from 1893, with the last hanging taking place in 1910. The gaol was closed by the Prisons Board in 1910. It was reopened in 1916 as a detention centre and site for the execution of the leaders of the Rising.. It subsequently was used as a prison during the War of Independence and Civil War. Though the hanging house is later than all other buildings on the site, it employs similar materials and details. Associated Kilmainham Gaol records 50080046, 50080047, 50080048, 50080057.