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Hidden Histories Hunt

This is a self-guided treasure hunt across Dublin City Centre, starting from outside the Central Library in the Ilac Centre. This is a city walk on busy roads, PLEASE take care when crossing roads and use pedestrian crossings where available.

The route is a 3km walk from the start point to the finish point. It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. The treasure hunt is all outdoors, except for the starting point. No admission fees are needed. Some parts of the route cross through parks, which may be closed in the evenings.

The answer to each clue spells out a word. One letter of each word will be used at the end of the hunt to spell out the answer to a question about Dublin.

1. The starting point is at Dublin’s Central Library, inside the ILAC Shopping Centre. You can enter the ILAC from Henry St, Moore St, or Parnell St. The Central Library is in the middle of the Ilac Centre, with steps leading into it. From the steps or entrance of the library, find out what Dublin is a UNESCO City of, due to its many famous writers throughout history.


2. Follow the hanging sign for Moore St. Exit the Ilac Centre onto Moore St and turn right. Keep walking along Moore St until you spot a dragon looking down from high on top of a building. Some say the dragon had its wings destroyed during the fighting in the 1916 Easter Rising. What number building is it on? Hint: the number of the building is beside the shop name. Write the number as words, rather than digits.



3. Continue in the same direction and turn right onto Henry St. As soon as you turn onto Henry St, pass two or three shops on your left, and find a rectangular plaque on the wall, at eye-level with a lot of adults. This was once home to a woman who campaigned for better rights for women in Ireland. What was her name?

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4. Continue in the same direction on Henry St until you reach the entrance to the Jervis Shopping Centre. Continue walking on the road a few paces, past the entrance to the shopping centre, and find a small circular plaque on your right. This was the site of the Volta, which was Ireland’s first what? It’s also known as a ‘picture house’.



5. At the next junction, turn left onto Jervis St and stop. There is a stone building at the crossroads with a very tall window. It was built around 1700, which makes it one of the oldest surviving buildings in this part of Dublin. It is a restaurant now, but what did it used to be? Hint: it’s still in the name of the restaurant.



6. Continue along Jervis St for approx. 300 metres, until you reach the river Liffey. Turn right and then left onto Grattan Bridge, with the green railings. On the bridge, look for what’s holding up the lamp posts. These are animals from Greek mythology, known as hippocampi. They are half fish and half what other type of animal?



7. Cross the bridge, then cross the road onto Parliament St, and then cross to the right side of Parliament St. As you’re crossing the bridge, look for a building decorated with long colourful sections like comic strips. The pictures on the building tell the story of the history of soap, as it was once used by a soap business. Find the name of the soap building above the door.

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8. Walk a short distance on Parliament St and then turn right onto Essex Gate. Turn right again onto Exchange St Lower. Behind some railings on the right side of this street, you can peek into the remains of a stone structure. In medieval times, this was the very edge of the city, and this structure was a tower along the city wall, used to look out for enemies approaching the city. The tower is named after an Irish princess from a medieval legend. What’s her name?



9. Follow this road until you reach Fishamble St and turn left. This was once a big Viking settlement, and on the right side of the road, you will see images on the ground, showing Viking objects that were found here during archaeological digs. On the left side of this road, find the place where a world-famous piece of music was performed for the very first time, hundreds of years after the Vikings. What was the surname of the composer?



10. At the end of Fishamble St, cross Lord Edward St. Continue straight ahead along the path, then straight again onto Werburgh St. On this street, you’ll find St Werburgh’s Church. Look up to see four stone carvings above the door. Lots of old churches have spooky carvings that were seen as symbols of death. The two outer carvings here are each made up of crossbones and what else?



11. Continue on this street. Take the next left turn, following the sign for Chester Beatty. Walk through an archway and continue straight ahead. This is part of the grounds of Dublin Castle. Continue on this path and walk under a small bridge. On your right is the entrance to some gardens. The garden area was once a pool along the river Poddle. Because of its dark colour, it became known as the ‘black pool’, and the word ‘Dublin’ comes from the Irish words for this. Find the Irish words for ‘black pool’, which give the gardens their name.

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12. Retrace your steps out of the castle grounds and back to Werburgh St. Turn left onto Bride St. Walk for around 120 paces along Bride St, until you see some red-bricked houses on the left, with pictures on plaques up high. The plaques show scenes from Gulliver’s Travels, a famous book by Irish author Jonathan Swift. What shape is each picture in?



13. Continue walking to the nearby crossroads. You will see a park across the road. Enter the park, descend the steps, and walk through it to the opposite side, exiting it near the cathedral. If you cannot access the park, walk around the outside of the park by turning right at the crossroads onto Bull Alley St and then left towards the cathedral. The park and cathedral are named after a famous Irish saint who came to Ireland in the 5th century. Find his name.



14. From the exit of the park, turn left and walk past the cathedral, and then turn left immediately, walking along the iron railings of the cathedral. Some people say the cemetery here is haunted by the ghost of a dog, who sits by his master’s grave. As you reach a stone wall on your left, find a fairytale-looking doorway. This is the gate to a building that’s linked to lots of other ghost stories. It was the first ever



15. Continue on this road, and turn right onto Kevin St Upper. Continue walking to a major junction but don’t cross the road. At corner is a lamppost, it has a crest on it showing showing three burning castles. What city do the three burning castles represent? Hint: the answer isn’t written anywhere here, but you may be able to guess!



You’ve solved all your clues! Now take the squared letter from each answer and write it beside the corresponding clue number shown. If you’ve been writing your answers in a notebook, you will need to carefully find the correct letters from each answer, using the answer spaces on these pages to help you, and then rearrange them in order of the clue numbers shown. This will reveal your final answer - a treasure that may have been lost in Dublin a thousand years ago!

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© Dublin City Council Culture Company 2022

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