Conceived in controversy—230 years of the Custom House

May 14, 2021, 05:00 AM

Today James Gandon’s neoclassical masterpiece is one of the most recognizable and well-regarded buildings in Dublin. Its completion in 1791 marked yet another instalment in the movement of the axis of the Georgian city eastwards. Yet over the ten years of its construction it was regarded as a ‘white elephant’, built in what was then a swamp, with substantial cost overruns—even provoking the ire of the Dublin ‘mob’. Why was it so controversial and what was its effect on the long-term planning of the city? Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Christine Casey, David Dickson, James Kelly and Sylvie Kleinman.
The Hedge School series of podcasts is produced by History Ireland and the Wordwell Group. For more information or to subscribe, visit
This podcast is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.