Sackville Street Dublin

Artist(s) : Thomas Creswick (Draughtsman), Henry Wallis (Engraver)

O'Connell Street (known as Sackville Street until 1924), seen from O’Connell Bridge, with Nelson's Pillar and the General Post Office prominent in the middle of the image. Several people are crossing the bridge, or going along the street, both by foot and on horseback. A variety of vehicles are also depicted. Shops, with and without awnings, and a number of lampposts are seen to either side.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – T. Creswick. / H. Wallis.

Image Details

Genre Townscape
Technique Etchings
Subject(s) Cities and towns
Geographical Location
  • O'Connell Street - Road
  • Dublin - Town or city
  • Dublin - County
  • Leinster - Province
Keywords(s) Bridges, Carriages & coaches, Columns, Crowds, Dogs, Horses, Lampposts, Men, Passengers, People, Sculpture, Ships, Stores & shops, Women
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 11.7 cm x 14 cm
Published / created 1837 - 1838

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland Picturesque and Romantic
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy on title page
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 r 15
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Hitherto I had seen nothing in Dublin but the splendid and imposing. No city in Europe has a finer avenue than the one by which I had entered; and Sackville Street, where I took up my abode, is in every way worthy of a great capital. Of this the reader will be convinced by a glance at the annexed view, of which the Trafalgar monument is the prominent object. Still it is unfair, as some late writers have done, to suggest comparisons with London. In the latter city every thing is on a gigantic scale. The crowd of magnificent carriages which blockade the streets can be seen no where else. The multitude of human beings flooding every thoroughfare — not in a hurry or bustle, but with a steady and severe determination — stamp a character upon the place perfectly unique. The buildings, even when mean in detail, seem absolutely awful in the enormous mass which they form. The provision for the wants and wishes of a society consisting of a million and a half of persons, far wealthier in the aggregate than in any other country in the world, is on a scale of corresponding grandeur. The procession of the mail coaches alone, on the King's birth-day, I consider to be one of the most splendid national spectacles existing. On returning from abroad, from even the greatest of the continental cities, I have always the impres- // sion upon my mind on entering London, that I am in the metropolis of Europe. In Dublin, an oval figure, comprehending Sack ville Street at one end and Stephen's Green at the other, would include nearly all that is fine or noble-looking in the city. It would include some well built streets; two spacious, but not otherwise very remarkable squares; a considerable number of rich shops; and several handsome and elegant, but no grand or august edifices. The fact, however, that these objects are in a small space — not more than suitable for the morning walk of a lady — makes the character of Dublin. The stranger has rarely any business beyond this line, within which he lives, moves, and hath his being, and consequently his impressions are all of a favourable nature. But even if I had been less accustomed to perambulate cities with the purpose of observation, the appearance of wealth on my first entrance would not have deceived me with regard to Dublin. In the first place, a notice was posted on the walls, that it was feared it would be necessary for want of funds to shut the doors of the Mendicity Institution, to which at that time between two and three thousand wretches looked for their only meal. In the next place, in Sackville Street, near the door of Gresham's hotel, I saw lying upon the pavement entirely naked, two children of five or six years of age, shivering and moaning, and crouching close to each other for mutual warmth. This spectacle // may, for aught I know, have been a mere charity trap; but the indifference with which it was glanced at by the passers by proved their daily and hourly familiarity with scenes of misery and destitution. The "high dama," with her
"brow of pride," and half haughty half sweet expression, turned a listless eye upon the scene as she glided by, not one shade of thought flitting over a cheek pale as well as fair, and, more frequently than otherwise, haggard with the traces of midnight dissipation. [pp. 10-12]
Sackville Street Dublin