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Bedford Tower - Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 53° 20.598 W 006° 16.060
29U E 681890 N 5913941
Quick Description: The Bedford Tower is part of Dublin Castle. The tower, built in 1761, is located on the northern side of Dublin Castle's courtyard. The Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from the tower in 1907 and have never been recovered.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Date Posted: 4/27/2016 8:36:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMR1C6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 4

Long Description:

The Tourist Information Dublin website tells us about te Bedford Tower:

Dublin castle was originally built on the orders of King John of England in 1204 on a site previously settled by the Vikings. He ordered that a castle be built with strong walls and good ditches for the defence of the city, the administration of justice, and the protection of the King’s treasure.

The castle was of typical Norman courtyard design, with a central square, bounded on all sides by tall defensive walls and protected at each corner by a circular tower. The castle formed one corner of the outer city wall, using the Poddle river as a means of defence along two of its sides.

The Bedford Tower of 1761 comprises the centrepiece of the Castle's principal Georgian courtyard. The statues of Fortitude and Justice on the gates were sculpted by John Van Nost the Younger in 1753. The tower was built over the original twin-towered entrance into Dublin Castle which was equipped with a portcullis and drawbridge and also served as a prison.

It was from this building the Irish Crown Jewels were mysteriously stolen in 1907. They were never recovered.

The Archiseek website also tells us:

In the eighteenth century as the Georgian streetscape of Dublin was being developed, the castle was redeveloped also. A young architect believed to be Sir Edward Lovett Pearce redesigned the upper yard using the basic design inherited from Sir William Robinson. These ranges constructed in the 1680s are similar to those present today. The illustration in Charles Brooking’s map of Dublin of 1728 shows the Castle in transition, with building work well underway. The east, south-east and west ranges had been completed and are recognisable today. The south-west range was under construction, with the Gate Towers still in existence, beside the site where the north-east wall had been demolished.

The Genelogical Office or Bedford Tower was constructed around the 1750s along with its flanking gateways to the city. The clock tower is named after the Duke of Bedford, John Russell who was the Lord Lieutenant and is constructed on the site of one of the original towers. The State Apartments for the Viceroy were constructed and the upper yard laid out as it exists today.

In the 19th century, an attic storey was constructed in place of the dormers. In 1779 it was stated that ‘this castle is far superior to the palace of St James’s as well as in the exterior, as to the size and elegance of the apartments within’.

During the 1798 rebellion, the courtyard was used for storing the dead and wounded – a fate that St James’s never had to endure. In 1803 the Emmet led rising again attempted to capture the castle and failed. Throughout the nineteenth century, the status quo prevailed and the Castle remained the site of Government in Ireland. All that this entailed, the balls, receptions and dinners continued even through the Great Famine.

In 1916 the castle came under its last attack through which it also survived. It remained in the hands of the British Authorities until it was handed over to the Free State on the 16th January 1922. One of the most infamous events in the Castle’s history was in 1907 when the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from the Bedford Tower. This took place the day before a visit by the King and Queen in one of the most heavily fortified areas in Britain or Ireland – the jewels or the thief had never been found.

In recent years, the Upper Yard has been restored – the attic story, which was added in the 1820s, was removed from the Bedford Tower, restoring its original proportions. The ‘Blind’ Gate of Fortitude, between the Conference Centre and the Bedford Clock Tower, was opened and a new La Touche Bridge gives further access across the new moat pool.

The Castle is still used for State occasions such as Presidential inaugurations and during Ireland’s presidency of the European Union.

The "Official Tourism" URL link to the attraction: [Web Link]

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 16.45 Sunday and Bank Holidays: 14.00 - 16.45

Admission Prices:
Adult: €4.50 Students & Senior Citizen: €3.50 Child (under 12): €2.00

Approximate amount of time needed to fully experience the attraction: Up to 1 hour

Transportation options to the attraction: Personal Vehicle or Public Transportation

The attraction’s own URL: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Kladings visited Bedford Tower - Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland 7/4/2019 Kladings visited it
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