The doors of Dublin’s beautiful Merrion Square will be thrown open to the public once again this August.

Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s most prestigious Georgian squares, will once again be inviting the public to come discover what lies behind some of those famous doors when it hosts its now annual Open Day on Saturday, 29th August.

There is a whole day of activity planned, from one side of the square to the other, including exhibitions, tours, and talks. Here are some of our highlights for things to do on the day.

Merrion Square graphic
All day 10am – 9pm

The park will be open all day and you are invited to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and check out the newly landscaped area around the Oscar Wilde statue (pictured in lead image above). Younger visitors may also enjoy a trip to the ‘Giant’s Garden’ playground.

The Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland will also be presenting ARCHAEOFEST 2015 in the park between 11am and 4pm, with experiments, excavations and much, much more — something for all the family! Free admission.


9.30am – 5.30pm

Enjoy the exhibitions on display in our National Gallery, where highlights from the Collection will be on display. Look out for the tours and other events planned and do pop in to see the Yeats Archive in the Millennium Wing. Free admission.

There will also be a special Heritage Week exhibition tour, entitled From the Archives. The tour takes place at 11am and again at 3pmand admission is free. There will also be a  Drop-in Family Workshop entitled Inspired by The Baroque which takes place in the Atrium, also at 11am.

There will be a public talk at 3pm in the Lecture theatre entitled Depictions of the West of Ireland, followed by a screening of Gerard Dillon: Painter and Decorator at 4pm. Admission to both events is free.

Irish Architectural Archive
10am – 5pm

Nr. 45, Merrion Square, home to the Irish Architectural Archive, is the largest terraced house on the square. There will be guided tours, affording you the opportunity to see the St Patrick’s Cathedral: an architectural exhibition in the Architecture Gallery and TJ Byrne exhibition on the first floor.


10am – 4:30pm

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is located at Nr. 73, Merrion Square and hosts an exhibition – Song, Music and Dance from across the Island of Ireland – as part of the Open Day celebrations. The exhibition features selected sound recordings, books and manuscripts, images and films that will take you on a musical journey around the island of Ireland. There will also be live music during the afternoon.


11am – 3.00pm

Nr. 58, Merrion Square is currently home to the University of Notre Dame in Ireland, and was formerly the residence of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’, for most of his political life. Tours of this elegantly restored Georgian house will be taking place on the hour and half-hour from 11am to 3pm during Open Day. Numbers are limited to 20 people per tour, and must be booked in advance.

The Pepper Canister Church in Dublin

12 noon – 5pm

St. Stephen’s Church, also known as The Pepper Canister Church located on Mount Street Crescent, will be open to the public for the Open Day, affording visitors the opportunity to see the interior and also to enjoy short music concerts which will take place at 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30pm.

2 – 4pm

The ESB’s Georgian Museum located at 29, Fitzwilliam Street Lower, will host an afternoon of traditional harp music with Máiread Whelan, harpist, singer, and founding member of choral group Anúna. She will be playing in the elegant drawing room between 2 and 4pm. Admission is free.

Merrion Square Open Day takes place in and around Merrion Square on Saturday, 29th August. For the full programme of events, please visit the Merrion Square website.


the thin grey line

Exhibition space photo courtesy Irish Architectural Archive; photo of Pepper Canister Church © DUBLIN BUZZ


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