Dublin Military Barracks

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The military department is under the control of the commander of the forces, under whom are the departments of the adjutant-general, quarter-master-general, royal artillery, engineers, commissariat and medical staff. The garrison is under the more immediate command of the general officer commanding the eastern district of Ireland, the head-quarters of which is in the city. The commander of the forces resides in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, of which he is master by virtue of his office. This hospital was founded for superannuated and maimed soldiers, in 1679, by royal charter, on the site of the dissolved priory of St. John of Jerusalem, at an expense of £23,559. The building consists of a quadrangle, 306 feet by 208 on the outside, enclosing an area of 210 feet square.

On the north side is the dining-hall, 100 feet by 50, the walls of which are appropriately ornamented with guns, pikes, and swords, and with standards taken from the Spaniards. The chapel is a plain but venerable structure: the east window, ornamented with stained glass, is very large, and beneath it is the communion table, of highly wrought Irish oak. The remainder of the quadrangle, round which is a covered walk, is appropriated to the use of the inmates. The present establishment is for 5 captains, an adjutant, and 200 soldiers selected from the out-pensioriers, whose number is about 20,000. The building is surrounded by a space of ground laid out in lawns and avenues well planted: its principal approach is from the military road. The garrison of the city is quartered in several barracks.

The largest and oldest are the Royal Barracks, situated on an eminence overlooking the Liffey, between the city and the principal gate of the Phoenix Park: the chief entrances are by two gates from Barrack-street. They are adapted for 10 field officers, 83 officers, 2003 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 460 horses, with an hospital for 240 patients. The buildings are divided into five squares, under the designation of royal, palatine, cavalry, stable, and clock squares. The barracks in South Great George's-street are adapted for 17 officers of infantry and 324 privates.

The Richmond barracks, near Golden Bridge, on the bank of the Grand Canal, have accommodation for 76 officers of infantry and 1602 non-commissioned officers and privates, and an hospital for 100 patients. The Porto Bello cavalry barracks, on the Grand Canal, are adapted for 27 officers and 520 men, with stabling for 540 horses, and an hospital for 40 patients. The barracks in the Phoenix Park, for infantry, have accommodation for 10 officers and 250 non-commissioned officers and men. Connected with the powder magazine are accommodations for one officer of artillery and 18 men.

The Island bridge barracks, for artillery, are adapted for 23 officers and 547 men, with stabling for 185 horses, and an hospital for 48 patients.

The Recruiting Depot at Beggar's Bush, beyond Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, consists of a fort enclosed with a wall, and four bastions with defences for musketry, and affords accommodation for 22 officers and 360 privates, with an hospital for39patients.

The Pigeon-house fort is situated on the south wall, midway between Ringsend and the Lighthouse, and comprises a magazine, arsenal, and custom-house, the whole enclosed with strong fortifications, and garrisoned by 16 officers of foot and artillery and 201 men, with stabling for 13 horses, and an hospital for 17 men. Adjoining the fort is a basin, 900 feet by 450, intended for a packet station; but since the formation of Howth and Kingstown harbours, it has not been used.

The Military Infirmary, designed for sick and wounded soldiers who cannot be properly treated in the regimental hospital, is in the Phoenix Park, near its principal entrance.

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