Dublin’s Georgian doors

Heading back to Ireland for my post today, and after photographing a few of Dublin’s Georgian doors last September I went back in December to get some more shots. Back in the 18th and early 19th centuries Dublin’s Georgian houses were characterised by a uniform style to conform with building regulations at the time, which meant that all new properties in a particular area looked exactly the same, though there are a few urban legends behind the reasons why the door colours were eventually changed.
One story leads back to the Irish writer George Moore who painted his door green in an effort to stop another writer, Oliver St. John Gogarty who lived on the same street, from mistaking Moore’s house for his own when coming home drunk from the pub, then in retaliation Gogarty painted his own door red. Another story came from the poet W B Yeats who wrote that Moore painted his door green for artistic reasons, being of the opinion that ‘the whole decoration of his house required a green door’. Whatever the true reason was, Moore is widely documented as having fought many times with his neighbours over his green door.
Whether or not George Moore did actually start the door-painting craze is uncertain but it did catch on and eventually many of the residents decided they wanted to express their individuality by not only painting their doors in bright colours but also adding wrought iron boot scrapers to the front steps and changing the knockers and fanlights to make each house distinctive from its immediate neighbours.
Although, on the north side of the River Liffey, there are several streets which still have Georgian houses with colourful front doors the most popular ones are concentrated in an area on the south side of the river, so join me on my ‘door walk’ as I wander along three sides of Merrion Square and the south side of St. Stephen’s Green.
Merrion Square North –
Merrion Square East –
Merrion Square South –
St. Stephen’s Green South –
Today most of the houses still have their original fanlights and some have even retained the box-shaped glass recesses in which a lamp would have been placed. There were so many nice doors it was impossible to photograph them all ; I didn’t even venture into Fitzwilliam Square and the other streets in the area so maybe I’ll make that a mission for the next time I visit Dublin.


19 thoughts on “Dublin’s Georgian doors

  1. I enjoyed seeing the doors in your original post so nice to revisit them especially those adorned with their Christmas wreaths. The fanlights are gorgeous and I like the stories of how being different all began.


  2. The story of the two writers painting their doors quite amused me – true or not, the doors certainly look very nice with their different colours and the fanlights are really lovely πŸ™‚


  3. I’ve never really looked closely at doors before, although my favourite would always be painted red. They look especially lovely hung with a Christmas wreath. X


    1. You can nick one of mine if you like, unless the ‘rules’ say it has to be your own shot – failing that you could always go to Dublin πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  4. Very grand doors. I love the stories of how they came to be painted in different colours, I think the red is my favourite. I hope Sophie is doing better now, our furry friends do cause us much worry, but of course, they’re so worth it.


  5. The doors are all very grand but the red ones are my favourites closely followed by yellow. Sophie is doing okay so far, very gradual and subtle improvements but heading in the right direction πŸ™‚


    1. I can’t imagine many people paint their front doors these days when the majority of them are maintenance-free upvc or composite rather than wood. I always think a brightly painted door makes a house look happy πŸ™‚


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