LOCALLY KNOWN AS THE 40 STEPS
The amount of litter to be seen is disappointing to say the least.
There is a small pedestrian lane that connect James’s Street on the south to Bow Lane West on the north. It was previously known as Murdering Lane or The Murd’ring Lane, and first appeared on maps in 1603, until it was renamed ‘Cromwell’s Quarters’ around 1892 when Alderman McSwiney called for the lane to be renamed in order to “preserve historical continuity”. The Cromwell in question was not Oliver Cromwell but his son Henry, who became Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1657. It is currently an unmarked pedestrian stepped alley. The lane is also locally referred to as “The Forty Steps”, even though there are only 39.
There is a laneway with forty steps, beside Dublin Castle, connecting Ship Street to Castle Street. It is, officially, Hoey’s Court but local tourist guides refer to it as Dean Swift Alley as 100ft from here Jonathan Swift was born in 1667. He was the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a celebrated author and satirist.
To add to the confusion Swift’s Alley Free Church was an Episcopal Church of Ireland chapel in Swift’s Alley and Francis Street. In 1653, a Baptist meeting-house (the first in Ireland) was established by Thomas Patient in Swift’s Alley, Dublin, the essayist and baptist John Foster preached there in 1795 as the congregation dwindled. In 1835, it was sold, and an Episcopal Chapel was established, the church was officially consecrated in 1843 by the Church of Ireland. The church had a Sunday School and Fellowship Society.
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