Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1785 - 1795
Attached three-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1790 as one of three (Nos. 46-48), having two-storey return to rear with additional abutment. Now in use as offices. Pitched roof to front span, behind brick parapet with masonry coping, and rear having two roofs perpendicular to street, larger roof to south, narrower single-pitched roof to north, with hipped east ends, and having terracotta ridge tiles. Rebuilt red brick chimneystack on rendered base to south party wall with clay pots. Concealed rainwater goods. Flemish bond red brick walling on painted moulded granite plinth course over painted ruled-and-lined rendered basement walling. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with painted rendered reveals and granite sills; painted block-and-start granite surrounds to basement openings. Timber sliding sash windows, hornless to basement, cavetto horns elsewhere, three-over-three pane to top floor and six-over-six pane elsewhere; similar arrangement to rear. Wrought-iron window-guards to top floor, decorative cast-iron balconettes to first floor and wrought-iron grilles to basement. Tripartite elliptical-headed doorcase, comprising square-headed door opening with moulded render reveal, engaged Adamesque Ionic columns and respondent quarter-pilasters, dentillated cornice and fluted entablature with rosettes, decorative batwing fanlight with fluted architrave, replacement rolled glass sidelights and replacement eight-panel timber door with brass furniture. Granite entrance platform with three steps to street. Basement area enclosed by wrought-iron railings with decorative cast-iron elements on moulded granite plinth, with remnants of wrought-iron lamp standard. Opening beneath entrance platform has replacement timber door and recent multiple-pane sidelight and overlight, accessed via concrete steps. Cast-iron coal-hole cover to pavement. Addition has various hipped slate roofs, rendered ground floor and brick first floor and canted middle part to south elevation. Rear of plot has carparking, recent two-storey building straddling plots of Nos. 46-47, and small yard bounded to lane by calp limestone wall with vehicular and pedestrian entrances having recent brick arches.
No. 46 Merrion Square East forms part of a group built by James McMahon, comprising Nos. 46-48. It displays elegant proportions and good fenestration. Its ornate Ionic doorcase provides a strong decorative focus, supplemented by the decorative ironwork to the balconettes. With its intact setting details, this building also contributes to the intact appearance of this internationally important Georgian square, and the wider historic fabric of south Dublin. The square was laid out in the mid-eighteenth century on land belonging to Lord Fitzwilliam. Lined on three sides with eighteenth and nineteenth-century houses and on the west by the garden front of Leinster House, it is one of the key architectural set-pieces of Georgian Dublin. The relatively homogeneous appearance belies the piecemeal nature of its construction. Houses on the east side are distinguished from those on the north by narrower proportions, as well as larger and more ornate tripartite doorcases. This group at the south end of the east side was built after 1786, when Lord Fitzwilliam arrived in Dublin to ensure that this side was 'perfected forthwith and a new street continued therefrom to Leeson Street'.