Introduction to the Collection

Items from as Early as the Seventeenth Century

A Museum Within the Castle

Since at least the seventeenth century, the collection at Dublin Castle has been an important expression of artistic and cultural production in Ireland and further afield. As early as May 1693 it was known to include two canopies of state, twelve stitched Irish elbow chairs and ‘Five pieces of Fine Tapestry Hangings’. By 1813, it had been enriched with ‘varieties of elegant and valuable paintings’. Today, the collection consists of a wide variety of artworks from across the spectrum of the fine and decorative arts.

Much of the collection was developed before Irish independence in 1922, but many significant additions have been made since then. Among the most important objects acquired in recent decades are the paintings and items of fine furniture gifted to the Irish State in 1973 as part of the Granard Bequest. Paintings are a particular strength of the Dublin Castle collection, but it is also rich in sculpture, furniture, clocks, china, glassware, prints, tapestries, stained glass and textiles from the seventeenth century to the present day.

These fascinating, curious and often beautiful objects allow us to explore and understand the Castle’s unique place in Irish history across the centuries. They make it not only a vital place of learning and enquiry but also a source of delight and inspiration.

The State Apartments in Dublin Castle are fully accredited under the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, pictured with Michael Starrett, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, at a presentation of an award for interim accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland to Jenny Papassotiriou and Celine Kennedy of Dublin Castle State Apartments (OPW). Gary O’Neill.