Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1780 - 1800
Attached two-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1790 as one of three (Nos. 50-52), having two-storey return or addition to rear. Now in use as offices. Rear of Nos. 50-52 projects from line of buildings to north. Pitched roof to front span with terracotta ridge tiles, behind brick parapet with granite coping, hipped roof to rear span, and with glazed clerestory between roofs. Brick chimneystacks to party walls, rebuilt and with rendered base to north, having clay pots and some recent replacements. Concealed rainwater goods. Flemish bond red brick walling, front elevation having wigged pointing and colour wash, granite plinth course and ruled-and-lined rendered basement walling; rendered walling to rear. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with granite sills. Replacement timber sliding sash windows with horns, nine-over-nine pane to first floor, three-over-three pane to top floor and six-over-six pane elsewhere. Tripartite six-over-six pane windows to middle floors of rear. Ornate wrought-iron balconettes to first floor, wrought-iron window-guards to second and top floors and wrought-iron grilles to basement. Round-headed masonry doorcase with moulded surround, engaged Adamesque Ionic columns and respond quarter-pilasters, stepped entablature with festooned and rosetted frieze, leaded cobweb fanlight, decorative oval-and-diamond leaded sidelights, and replacement nine-panel timber door with brass furniture. Granite entrance platform with two bull-nosed steps to street. Basement area enclosed by wrought-iron railings with decorative cast-iron posts on moulded granite plinth. Replacement timber door and steel steps to basement. carparking and possibly recent two-storey building to rear of plot.
No. 51 Merrion Square forms part of a row (Nos. 50-52) built by paper-stainer George Kent. The south end of the east side of the square was built after 1786, when Lord Fitzwilliam arrived in Dublin to ensure that the east side was 'perfected forthwith and a new street continued therefrom to Leeson Street.' Displaying elegant proportions, ornate balconettes to the ground floor and an ornate Ionic doorcase, this house is largely well retained and also retains an intact setting, all contributing to the intact appearance of this Georgian square, and to the wider historic fabric of the south city. No. 51 is of further interest as the main elevation displays distinctive wigged pointing, which although recently executed, constitutes an important visual and technical feature. 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. Indeed, houses on the east side are distinguished from those on the north by narrower proportions, as well as larger and more ornate tripartite doorcases.