Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Social
Big Gun Inn
In Use As
1760 - 1800
Attached four-bay three-storey former pair of houses, built c. 1780, with single-storey six-bay addition with pubfront to front (south) elevation, and return to rear added c. 1910. In use as public house. M-profile hipped slate roof, set perpendicular to street, having cast-iron rainwater goods partly hidden behind rendered parapet with shaped brick eaves course and cut granite coping. Rendered chimneystacks to east gable with clay pots. Wrought-iron balustrade set on red brick parapet with cut granite coping to flat roof of front addition. Rendered walling to upper floors; red brick, laid in Flemish bond, to pubfront, having carved granite plinth course; rendered elsewhere. Square-headed windows openings to upper floors with cut granite sills and one-over-one pane timber sliding sash windows and raised rendered surrounds; some wrought-iron bars to front and rear. Pubfront comprises red brick pilasters with moulded brick capitals, supporting timber fascia with painted lettering 'Gaffney & Sons Whiskey Bonder' and house numbers, fluted end panels, and carved granite cornice. Basket-headed display windows and doorway, with four single-pane fixed timber-framed windows and two recessed doorways with roller shutters, double-leaf timber panelled doors with multiple-pane leaded glass panels, granite thresholds and tiled floors to interior of entrances. Interior retains some early fabric.
This elegant building survives with much of its early form and character intact, its late Victorian refurbishment providing a decorative contrast to the earlier Georgian composition. It retains salient features from various time periods, including the early roof profile, windows and wrought-ironwork, reflecting its architectural evolution. The well-executed signage adds decorative as well as contextual interest to the façade. The building has a long history as a public house and Thomas Gaffney bought it at the turn of the twentieth century and added the current pubfront. It had many previous owners, including John Carey who, in 1880, was a brewer and manufacturer of bagatelle tables, the latter popular in public houses at the time and made by Carey on the premises. The earliest licence dates from the early eighteenth century, when it was known as Big Gun Inn; at that time the area to the east was tidal mud flats. By the start of the nineteenth century, the east end of Fairview Strand had been reclaimed from the sea at the confluence of the rivers Tolka and Liffey.