Opening in 1707 Marsh’s Library was the first ever public library in Ireland. However that’s not the library’s only claim to fame. Two of Dublin’s most famous literary sons have both come here to read over the years. James Joyce and ‘Dracula’ author Bram Stoker both frequented the library over the years.
The library is often overlooked considering its proximity to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. But if you just swing to the left when exiting the cathedral then you will find a small gate which will lead you straight into a bit of hidden Dublin. My biggest tip is to not think the library won’t be entertaining for kids. I brought my friend’s young children recently and they were fascinated to see the rows of books which haven’t been touched in over 300 hundred years and the reading cages in which visitors were locked inside to prevent books being stolen.
During the revolution of the 1916 Rising gunshots were fired through the windows of the building and an explosive looking bullet hole can still be found in the spine of one. Soldiers who were caught up in the battles etched their names on the inside of the library’s heavy wooden doors which are still there for all to see 99 years later.
A visit to Marsh’s Library is a slightly spooky but an interesting and fun thing to do when you’re in Dublin. And in my experience if you have kids then there are plenty of Dracula related stories to keep them entertained!