Dublin’s Oldest House

Originally published on Clicnews

By Robert Geoghegan & Kasper Delaney-Petersen

Clic news visited Dublin’s oldest house, on 130 Thomas Street, which is currently under renovations to turn the ground floor into a cafe and the upper floor a townhouse.

The Wexford builder, who purchased the home, Paul Sinnott, took us on a tour around the house.

The first part of the building that he showed us was the soon to be a cafe, sticking out from the roof was a large timber log which Sinnott clarified was tested by carbon dating, a process for dating the age of wood, this particular log dated back to 1639. That was when he knew that he had to buy the building.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing as the house had been in disrepair for over twenty years. Sinnott expressed how “the roof was collapsing in on itself” as tenants from the surrounding apartment basically used the roof as a skip, “we found bikes, mattresses, and rubbish just thrown out from the windows onto the roof”.

As we climbed up the Irish-oak staircase it became apparent that particular design of the house was unique “this design could be found in the finer houses of that period (the 1640’s), with windows dating around the 1800’s”. probably would have been fine view of a lush garden that spanned for a mile, unfortunately, the view is blocked by the surrounding apartments.

When we walked in the open area sitting/kitchen the windows lit up the room, the view onto the street below was magnificent.  With the hustle and bustle of the people and cars going by, across the road St. Catherine’s Church, which was originally built in 1185, reinforcing the historical elements of the building we are standing in.  

Paul brought us back into the moment of the room explaining that the fireplace had its original brickwork, the way that they could tell was the thinness of the brick. Beside the fireplace was a little kook containing wallpaper from the 1800’s, just a little patch of old wallpaper. The fireplace circled around into the kitchen (it’s all one room) had a fireplace on the other side.  “there are six plumes behind the exterior of the fireplace, it was a nightmare to clean out, birds nested in them, bird poop was everywhere. My guys ran out onto the streets to get sick; it was so dirty”.

When asked if the house was lucky to be bought when it was, he said: “Of course, yeah. Another year or so and it would be gone.

“There was a tree growing just out of the corner on the top floor,” Sinnott said. “The chimney was about to collapse in like the roof.”

Prior to the discovery that 130 Thomas Street was the oldest house in the capital, the building on 9/9A Aungier Street was believed to be the oldest house in Dublin. However, the Thomas Street home is now believed to have been built 25 years prior to the Aungier Street building.

The building work will be completed within the coming weeks.

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