Georgian architecture was constructed in Dublin between 1714 and 1830, during the reigns of the four successive King George’s in the United Kingdom. Georgian homes were built for members of the upper middle class, with development on the south side of the city – where the Georgian House Museum is now located – only beginning after the Earl of Kildare had finished his palatial townhouse in the area in 1762. The house at Twenty Nine, Fitzwilliam Street Lower, received its first residents in 1794. Mrs. Olivia Beatty – the widow of a well-known wine merchant – and her seven children moved in during November of that year, and lived there until 1804.
In 1928, Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) took ownership of the building, which housed offices of the company until 1980. Once the offices had moved, an extensive restoration of Number Twenty Nine was undertaken by ESB, in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland. The house was returned to how it would have looked when first being lived in, mostly using furniture and furnishings from the National Museum’s Collection of Georgian items. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1991.
Each room in the house has been returned to its Georgian glory, with the décor accurately reflecting the dominant trends of the time – such as the introduction of the neo-Grecian and neo-gothic styles infiltrating from wider Europe. Luxurious home design was a huge growth market in Dublin between 1790 and 1820, and most of the furnishings are Irish. Examples of high quality Irish furniture from the period include a long case clock made by John Sanderson, the son of a Huguenot refugee. The children’s quarters in the attic house two well-preserved 19th century dolls houses. The artwork on display is equally authentic to the house’s time, with paintings by Irish painter Nathaniel Hone and a portrait of the revolutionary leader Robert Emmet by Scottish painter, James Petrie.
Tours of Number Twenty Nine are primarily self-guided and extend from the building’s basement through to the attic. Storyboards throughout provide information on each different room and the operation of the house as a whole. Guided tours are available exclusively for groups at 11am and for all at 3pm.
📅 Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm (Last admission 4.30 pm)