The Brazen Head

20 Lower Bridge Street

Here we have Dublin's oldest dnnking establishment. The Brazen Head was formally chartered in 1688, but a place of refreshment for the weary traveller has existed on this spot probably since the twelfth century. The present building was a coaching inn erected circa 1700, and an advertisement in a Dublin paper of 1750 reads, "Chnstopher Quinn of the sign of The Brazen Head in Bridge Street, being determined to continue the wine trade as usual, has fitted said house with neat accommodations and commodious cellars for said business." The landing window still contains early bottle glass and one pane bears a nice bit of scratched graffiti: "John Langan halted here, 7th August, 1726."

As soon as you enter the crooked door (or is it the building that defies gravity?) you will find yourself plunged into an alluring warren of nooks, crannies and passageways that fairly breath history. The lighting is suitably dim and smoky (there are fireplaces in every room) and the low-ceilinged front room with its corner bar invites the exchanging of confidences.

Certainly, historic secrets and confidences were once the order of the day here: in 1798 and the years immediately prior to that, the chiefs of the United Irishmen used to meet and relax at the Brazen Head. At times, the pub was frequented by Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone and Daniel O'Connell as well as many other notables. Robert Emmet actually lived here for a while, renting a room that over looked the passageway leading to the door of the inn, and from where all callers to the house could be observed. Ask to see the desk he used for his wntings, just one of the wonderful antique treasures that you'll find here. The back room serves a fine lunch of the Chef's hot specials plus a carvery, and there's traditional music in the music room every night except Thursday Jazz and Blues on Thursdays).

You can drop in for a pint in Dublin's oldest pub
at 20 Lower Bridge Street, Dublin.

From the Appletree Press title: The Irish Pub Guide.
Also from Appletree: Irish Pub Songs.