No dogs will dine here by God!

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Where: Dublin, , Ireland

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When: Unknown

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The Royal Hospital Kilmainham dining hall in all its splendour with the panoply of war (in case anyone might forget its residents former calling)! A building that seemed destined to be made derelict, but has been resurrected and restored to become a priceless addition to the Dublin art scene!

Guliolopez provides some extra detail on the 17th-century 'great hall', which used for dining and recreation by the ex-soldiers who were cared-for in the RHK. As per the "then and now" comparison image that Niall McAuley provides, it's still used for events, receptions and dining - though clearly without all the weaponry and armour adorning the walls. I wonder where it all went.....?

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_04022

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 20314
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland royalhospitalkilmainham kilmainham dublin croppysacre lesinvalides oldsoldiers chelsea armour weapons greathall gallery dininghall halbert lawrencephotographcollection

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Jul/2017 09:14:41


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    • 26/Jul/2017 10:06:13

    Am I seeing electric lamps? See note.

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    • 26/Jul/2017 10:17:01

    "No dogs will dine here by God!" Or, do you mean, no dogs on the menu, here? Or, were you referring to English?

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    • 26/Jul/2017 11:54:33

    Large British flag with a crest in the middle of it, other one looks like a variation on the Red Ensign along the left wall. Flag from a unit at Waterloo? See on the left of these flags

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 26/Jul/2017 13:21:37 - I think Morning Mary was referring to the likelihood that the usual morning past-time (the dog hunt) would be fruitless today. (At least, as you say, if we didn't include any mystery meat from the menu...) - Thanks for the "today" shot. I wonder where all the weapons went.... - Any flags that you can see that might help refine the date range a little? Though maybe is onto something with the lighting...

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    • 26/Jul/2017 13:30:08

    The "History of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Near Dublin ... with Copious Notes and an Appendix" (Burton, 1843) includes a description on page 179:

    It would do a person's heart good to see this care of our venerable deposit extend even to the old copper sconces, and dish covers, and other minutiae; also antique halberts, muskets, and bayonets, with which the great hall is tastefully decorated
    Taste of course being entirely subjective :)

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    • 26/Jul/2017 14:12:29

    The same book ('History of the Royal Hospital', Burton, 1843), has a description of the hall and its gallery on page 120:

    The great hall, or refectory, occupies the centre of the northern front, in length one hundred feet, by forty-five feet wide, lofty, the ceiling flat, and divided into several compartments; the centre is occupied by a curious clock dial, painted on its surface; the hall is wainscotted, the upper part plaister, and orna-mented with twenty-two full length portraits+ of those who were patron's of the hospital or, who held high offices in the government. The first on the west side, which is the portrait of Charles II. ... + The following are the names of those personages whose portraits decorate the hall. On the west end- King Charles II, founder of the hospital; King William III; Queen Mary, his consort; Queen Anne; George, Prince of Denmark; Lionel, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant in 1734. On the north side - William, Duke of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant in 1662; Thomas, Earl of Ossory, Lord Lieutenant in 1664; Richard, Earl of Arran, Lord Lieutenant in 1684; Michael Boyle, Lord Primate and Lord Justice in 1685; Thomas, Lord Coningsby, one of the Lords ... Justices in 1690; Sir Cyril Wyche, one of the Lords Justices in 1692; Sir Charles Porter, one of the Lords Justices and Lord Chancellor in 1697; Narcissus Marsh, Lord Primate and one of the Lords Justices in 1699; Lawrence, Earl of Rochester, Lord Lieutenant in 1701; General Thomas Erle, one of the Lords Justices in 1702. One the east end - Thomas Knightly, Esq, one of the Lords Justices in 1702; Sir Richard Cox, Lord Chancellor and one of the Lord Justices in 1704; Lieutenant General Frederick Hamilton, one of the Lords Justices in 1718.
    It also has some notes on the dining traditions on page 123, which may explain the lonely looking table we see in this image:
    About ninety years since, the officers dined in the hall at four o'clock; but alliances in life have altered the custom, and till within the last six years, a table was laid at the north-west corner, with several articles of plate, to keep up its memorial
    The same page describes some of the flags as including the standard 'borne by the Enniskillen dragoons' (at the Battle of the Boyne), of the '54th regiment' (at Gibraltar) and of the 'ninetieth light infantry' ('waved victorious over Egypt's sands').

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 26/Jul/2017 23:51:40

    Thanks - Very interesting indeed. Seems that while the portraits remain (unsurprising given the RHK's modern use as an art space), all the weaponry seems to be gone. I wonder where it went? Is there a strongbox in the basement somewhere I wonder? Or did someone melt it all down into part modern-art, part Game-of-Thrones homage? :)

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    • 27/Jul/2017 03:33:58

    [] Those are old flags, they look faded/see through. They seemed to have used square ones until the end of the 19th Century. I'm almost inclined to say the 51st Light Infantry, they were under garrison duty in Ireland in the 1764. I could see these being 100 yr old flags by the time this was taken, I"m inclined to say before 1914, late 19th Century. This is the closest flag I could find, There's a Royal Coat of Arms above the fireplace near the middle, it shows the Irish harp in the lower left, so it's certainly before 1917. Was used form 1837 onwards.

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    Corey Bryson

    • 27/Jul/2017 04:24:02

    a beautiful photo... a wishing I was there in that room to take it feeling. thanks for posting!

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 27/Jul/2017 08:00:09

    beautifully captured!

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    • 24/Aug/2017 10:09:43

    Evidently Field-Marshal Lord Roberts lived here in 1898 -

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 24/Aug/2017 23:14:51

    Oohh - very interesting Funny how the beloved "Bobs" keeps cropping-up. The legendary six-degrees-of-separation are often quickly reduced/elminated in this stream. (One "slow news day" we must make a game of it. To see how quickly two otherwise unrelated images can be linked :) )

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    • 07/Jul/2021 10:46:15

    The armaments went to the British War Museum after closure. The Royal coat of arms over the door is now in Chelsea. The display of war trophies was in a museum in the pigeon House fort originally and was moved to kilmainham in the 19th century. It was open to the public to visit, the pensioners acted as guides.