Irelandâ€™s National Maritime Museum is situated in the Old Mariners Church at DĂşn Laoghaire â€“ a seaside town and port located circa 6 miles from Dublin city centre which is easily accessible by DART suburban train and several bus services.
The museumâ€™s greatest artefact is probably the building itself as it is one of a few custom built places of worship for sailors remaining intact in the world to-day. There are interesting mechanical exhibitions, including first class artefacts, on many aspects of the Irish maritime, wildlife around the Irish coastline including fish, birds and small animals, a maritime art gallery, a recreated shipâ€™s radio room and a Titanic exhibition.
The National Maritime Museum houses an extensive collection on all aspects of maritime heritage, from the massive anchor in the museum courtyard to tiny models put together by the lighthouse keepers in the many lonely hours spent on duty off the coast of Ireland. Of the thousands of objects some hundreds are on display in the museum.
To get an impression of the museum as a whole, visit ourÂ Google Tour.
Here are some highlights:
This working Optic is the light from Baily lighthouse in Howth, North Dublin. It was installed in 1902 and removed in 1972 when the lighthouse was modernised. The lighthouse was originally gas, then vapourised paraffin powered, the light was equivalent to 2,000,000 candle power. The optic now shines a lesser light over the museum. Bailey Optic Light, donated by Irish Lights. The lens is a first order annular with a focal distance of 920mm. Its […]
Born in Wicklow on the 17th February 1836, son of James Halpin, innkeeper of Wicklow Bridge House. (Now known as Bridge Tavern)Â He was the youngest of 13 children and first went to sea in 1847 at the age of 11. In June 1865 he was appointed Chief Officer of the Great Eastern. A behemoth of 22,000 tons and 680 ft long. This amazing ship had proved to be a financial disaster as a passenger […]
Our staff are always happy to meet people who bring in objects or documents dealing with Irelandâ€™s maritime heritage, whether to get an expert opinion, share a story or donate items to our collection. Please contact Roger Kirker at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
When the Great Eastern was launched in 1858 it was the largest ship in the world. It was designed by a great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunell. It was built at Milwall on the River Thames. There was no dry dock large enough for it, and it had to be built alongside the river and launched sideways. It took several attempts to finally push it into the water. It would be 40 years before a […]
Kindly produced by Terry McDonagh.
The museum is run by volunteers who are also happy to show visitors around and share some of their stories about the history of the museum and its artefacts.
Please contact us to book a guided tour.
We also welcome school groups and provide special materials for educational visits. Please click here for more information.