In Medieval times this area was known as St. Andrew’s Parish and was located outside the walls of Dublin on the South bank of the River Liffey. It fell into disuse in the 14th century, due to attacks from the native Irish.
In the 17th century, it was redeveloped into gardens to feed the houses of wealthy English families. The river banks were further inland than today and gradually the marshy land next to the river was reclaimed, with yards running down to the river’s edge.
The first mention of Temple Bar Street was on a 1673 map of the redeveloped area. The name was thought to have originated from the Temple family, whose ancestor, Sir William Temple built a house an gardens here in the early 1600s. However, it is more likely that it refers to the the Temple Bar district in London, where the main toll gate into London used to stand in medieval times.
In the 18th century, the area became the center of prostitution, until it fell into decay in the 19th century. In 1991, the government set up a non-profit company to lead the redevelopment of the area into Dublin’s cultural capital. In 1999, “hen” and “stag” parties were banned in the area to help curtail rowdy behaviour.
As the name would seem to suggest, the area is full of bars and restaurants and is a center for tourist night life. While it is a great place to visit in the daytime, there can be troubles late at night and you would definitely not want to stay in a hotel in this area, if you wished to get a good night’s sleep. We wandered through the area during each of our three days in Dublin. As you will note from my previous post on Dublin, we did both dine and drink in restaurants and pubs in the area.
The following photos will give you a good idea of the colour of the area.