On the morning of Wednesday 15 April 2015 forty members of the Association met for coffee in the Silk Road Café. We then walked over to the State Apartments of Dublin Castle. The tour also included the Chapel Royal and culminated with a visit to the Undercroft. Our tour guide, Elizabeth, was excellent and gave us a most informative insight into the Castle’s history and many amusing anecdotes of life in the Castle over the centuries. The State Apartments were built as the residence and public quarters of the Viceregal Court and today the Apartments are the venue for Ireland’s Presidencies of the European Union, Presidential inaugurations and prestigious functions. The State Apartments are not used for accommodating visiting dignatories, but for security reasons the last person to stay in the Apartments was Margaret Thatcher, when negotiations for the Anglo-Irish Agreement were in progress.
We then walked over to the Chapel Royal, which is a Gothic revival building designed by Francis Johnston. It is famous for its vaulting, particularly its fine plasterwork and carved oaks and galleries. After the visit to the Chapel Royal we went to the Undercroft, which is located at lower ground floor level in the Lower Castle Yard, opposite the Chapel Royal. The city walls join the Castle at this point and a small portion of the original walls are still visible. The River Poddle, which is also visible, now runs underground to the Undercroft.
A small selection of photographs of our members in the State Apartments and Chapel Royal can be seen in our photo gallery.
All the members expressed their appreciation of an excellent and informative tour and went their separate ways for lunch.