It is claimed that Long Lane is home to Ireland’s narrowest house – number 19A measures just 1.8m at its narrowest point – and at just 36sq m is most likely the smallest house in Dublin.
Long Lane in the Earl of Meath’s Liberty was originally about 500 metres in length, not that meters were used back then, and it ran from New Street/Clanbrassil Street to Wexford St. However it was bisected by Bride St/Heytsbury St when that street was created in 1846. Today the section from New Bride Street to Wexford Street is known as Camden Row.
The Meath Hospital was relocate from the Coombe to the south side of Long Lane in 1821. It should be noted that the portico of the original building still stands as a memorial in The Coombe. A donation of £6,000 from Thomas Pleasants covered the cost building the Meath hospital and this lead to Pleasants Street being named in his honour.
The Meath Hospital was the oldest voluntary hospital in continuous existence in Ireland, the oldest university teaching hospital and the most significant institution in Ireland in terms of medical history. Founded in 1753 to care for the sick and poor of the Liberties, the hospital took on the mantle of the County Dublin Infirmary in 1774. The hospital moved to Heytesbury St in 1822 and stayed there until the move to Tallaght in 1998.
The first hypodermic injection was administered by a surgeon in the hospital, Francis Rynd, in 1844. Richard Lane Joynt was one of the first radiologists in Ireland, and was appointed in 1900, the year in which Queen Victoria visited the Meath Hospital. This tradition of medical innovation has continued into this century with the establishment of the National Urological Department in 1952. Modern nursing practices started in 1884 with the appointment of Miss Ellinor Lyons, who founded the Meath Hospital Nursing School.
The Meath Hospital had many literary associations. The site of the hospital (the Dean’s Vineyard) was where Jonathan Swift kept a garden and a paddock for his horse – the wall of the hospital along Long Lane incorporates parts of the wall built by Dean Swift. James Clarence Mangan and Brendan Behan were patients and spent their last days in the Meath Hospital. The poet and novelist Oliver St John Gogarty (and also Buck Mulligan in James Joyce’s Ulysses!) was on the staff of the hospital from 1911 to 1939, and the hospital features in the poetry of Paul Durcan.
YOU CAN ACCESS THE CABBAGE GARDEN VIA LONG LANE CLOSE OFF LONG LANE
The Cabbage Garden is a former burial ground off Upper Kevin St. in Dublin’s south inner city.
The ground was consecrated by James Margetson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh in 1668. It consisted of a plot of land which was set apart by the Dean and Chapter of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1666 for the purposes of a cemetery for the inhabitants of St. Patrick’s Close and of the parish of St. Nicholas Without, as their cemetery had become overcrowded. Later part of this plot was reserved for the burial of Huguenots, who worshipped in the Lady Chapel in the Cathedral.
The name of the plot can be traced back to the arrival of Oliver Cromwell in Dublin 1649, who planted cabbages on this spot to feed his soldiers.
The burial ground was closed in 1878 to all but 14 families. The last interment took place in 1896 and the cemetery closed early in the 20th century. Towards the end of the century part of the ground was converted into a public park while the rest was covered by public housing constructed by Dublin Corporation at the junction of Cathedral Lane and Upper Kevin St., which opened in 1982. The park can be reached by way of Cathedral Lane (until 1792 called Cabbage Garden Lane).