Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1775 - 1795
Attached three-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1785, with flat-roofed two-storey and hipped roofed three-storey return to rear. Now in use as offices. Pitched slate roof to front, behind brick parapet with granite coping, and with two hipped roofs to rear, larger over western bays. Shouldered rendered chimneystack with clay pots to west party wall. Parapet gutters and cast-iron and replacement uPVC rainwater goods. Flemish bond red brick walls on granite plinth course over painted rendered walls to basement. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with rendered reveals and painted granite sills, basement window openings having carved granite block-and-start surrounds and wrought-iron grilles. Replacement bipartite six-pane timber casements to top floor front and timber sliding sash windows elsewhere, three-over-three pane to top floor rear and one-over-one pane elsewhere to front and rear elevations. Wrought-iron window-guards to second and third floors with decorative details, ornate cast-iron balconettes to first floor and ornate vignette to one ground floor window; round-headed two-over-two pane window to lower part of return. Round-headed principal doorway with rendered linings, fluted frieze and cornice on engaged Ionic columns with respond pilasters, plain fanlight, ten-panel timber door with brass furniture, and leaded stained-glass sidelights. Shared limestone platform with cast-iron boot-scrape and four granite steps. Basement area enclosed by wrought-iron railings with decorative cast-iron posts on carved granite plinth. Cast-iron coal-hole covers set in granite flags to footpath. Yard to rear.
No. 78 Merrion Square retains its historic character, featuring an elegant, wide tripartite Ionic doorcase with decorative (albeit replacement) sidelights. The ornate balconettes and the more sober window-guards add further visual interest to the to the otherwise restrained façade. The intact setting features contributes significantly to the intact appearance of the square. Developed as part of the Fitzwilliam Estate, Merrion Square is one of the best-preserved Georgian streetscapes in Ireland. The north, east and south sides of the square are lined with terraced houses of eighteenth and early nineteenth-century date, while the west side is terminated by the garden front of Leinster House. The terraced houses maintain a relatively uniform building height and design, attributed to standards promoted in Fitzwilliam's leases. Individuality was introduced through the design of doorcases, window ironwork and interior decorative schemes. The south side of Merrion Square was initially set in large plots to twelve lessees; plots were leased consecutively from east to west up to 1791.