It’s 5:00 where I am, and in Dublin, Ireland, it was 5:00 five hours ago. So I’m thinking that one of the oldest bars in Ireland would probably be rocking right now, with sloppy pints of Guinness and baked brie, or bangers and mash or fish and chips……….that is, if COVID-19 hadn’t locked down even the most seasoned of the world’s thirsty citizens.
Press Play to set the mood.
I found this place on a search for Ireland’s oldest pub, for no good reason other than to find an interesting place to wish I was having a sudsy one.
The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub. The name relates to a 13th century legend of a bronze or brass head mounted on marble that could predict the future. The head would answer any question put to it, as long as it could be answered with “Yes” or “No.” No doubt the questions had to be carefully phrased!
There has been an inn at this location since 1198, and the present building was built in 1754. It’s address is on Bridge Street, named from where reed matting was placed on the river where people could cross at low tide. An inn near a river crossing was a no brainer to rest weary travellers.
It was a place where the United Irishmen planned their insurrection, and where Irish nationalist leader Robert Emmet planned the rise of 1803, ultimately a failure for the chap who was hanged in the nearby street. The same location overlooked the Free State firing on anti-treaty forces to begin Ireland’s Civil War in 1922. The pub displays many photographs from this period on its current walls.
There are literary connections to playwright Brendan Behan and James Joyce, who referred to the pub in his work ‘Ulysses’ — “…you got a decent enough do in the Brazen Head for a bob.” Whatever that means.
The Brazen Head today is popular with locals as well as tourists with its “old pub” atmosphere, and its proximity to Guinness Brewery just up the road.
I have posted what I could find of a live tour of the place, and Conan O’Brien can show you the Guinness brewery.
Raise your glass and give thanks for Friday!
May your giving hand never fail you, may we all be alive at this same time next year, and may the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.