THE STEIN OF DUBLIN – THE LONG STONE
The oldest Anglo-Norman records in Ireland frequently refer to an extra mural district, east of Dublin, denominated “The Stein” or “Steine”, a flat piece of land extending southwards from the strand of the Liffey to “the lands of the Rath”, and eastward from near the city walls to the river Dodder.
If you mention the “Long Stone” most people in Dublin will immediately think of a pub.
The Long Stone on Townsend Street was established in 1754 and has been a favourite of Trinity College, Dublin students for generations. Unfortunately the pub which traded for 264 years ceased trading in December 2018 before being demolished as part of a major city centre development.
The Steine sculpture was erected in 1986 and was sculpted by Cliodhna Cussen. It was removed for a few years because of construction works associated with the new Luas cross-city tram service. The original installation included a granite inscribed plaque and a bronze plaque on a circular shaft set into granite setts arranged in eight circular bands around the principal granite shaft. When I photographed it immediately after the restoration bronze plate was missing but as you can see it is now there but the original setts have not been restored.
The stone is erected on a site near which stood a famous Long Stone or Steine / Steyne standing 12-14 feet high and erected by the Viking inhabitants of Dublin in the 10th or 11th centuries.
The River Liffey was much broader then and the stone actually stood close to the shoreline and perhaps marked a landing place.
The 3.35m high granite shaft is carved with two faces, one of which represents Ivor the first Viking King of Dublin who ruled in the 9th century. The other face is that of a nun and commemorates the convent of St. Mary Hogges, which stood nearby in the middle ages.