Wood Quay

Orientation & Geography

Europe, Ireland, Dublin

Wood Quay (Irish: An Ché Adhmaid) is a riverside area of Dublin that was a site of Viking settlement. Dublin Corporation acquired Wood Quay gradually between 1950 and 1975, finally announcing that it would be the location of their new offices. Finds made during the initial excavation of the site led to a massive, but ultimately unsuccessful, public campaign to halt the development. Finds from the hastily excavated Wood Quay are now on display in the National Museum of Ireland. Most of the quay is now entirely occupied by Dublin City Council's Civic Offices. Two bridges cross the river at Wood Quay, one at the eastern and the other at the western end. The bridge at the eastern end is Grattan Bridge named after Henry Grattan, the famous Irish parliamentarian of the 18th century. This bridge which resembles Westminster Bridge in London was until the 18th century the most easterly and therefore the closest to the sea of the Liffey Bridges. The bridge at the westerly end of Wood Quay is O'Donovan Rossa Bridge named after the 19th century fenian. In a later excavation between 1990 and 1993 further along the quay at Lower Exchange Street, an archaeological dig team unearthed a roundtower-like ruin from the 13th century called Isolde's Tower. This tower was first discovered in the 17th century but most of it was destroyed and covered in. Because of the dig, the construction of underground parking facilities for a planned development on the site could not be constructed at their intended location. The tower is now viewable through railings on Lower Exchange Street and the car park ramp is further to the left.