Newman House at 85–86 St Stephen’s Green South boasts probably the finest Georgian interiors in Dublin, noted especially for their decorative plasterwork. The place is named after John Henry Newman, the famous British convert from Anglicanism, who was invited to found the Catholic University of Ireland here in 1854 as an alternative to Anglican Trinity College and the recently established “godless” Queen’s Colleges in Belfast, Cork and Galway. James Joyce and Éamon de Valera were educated at what became University College Dublin (UCD), which now occupies a large campus in the southern suburbs.

Newman House began life as two houses. No. 85 is a Palladian mansion built by Richard Castle in 1738 and adorned with superb baroque stuccowork by the Swiss Lafranchini brothers, notably in the ground-floor Apollo Room, where the god himself appears majestically over the fireplace, attended by the nine muses on the surrounding walls. The much larger no. 86, with flowing rococo plasterwork by Robert West, the notable Dublin-born imitator of the Lafranchinis, was added in 1765. On the top floor of the latter are a lecture room, done out as in Joyce’s student days (1899–1902), and the bedroom of the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Having converted from Anglicanism, Hopkins became a Jesuit priest and then Professor of Classics here in 1884; after five wretched years in Dublin, he died of typhoid and was buried in an unmarked grave in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

With its remote beauty, rugged landscapes and windswept coastlines, Ireland is a photographer's dream. Here, Philip Joyce shares some of his best pictures of…

23 Aug 2016 • Philip Joyce insert_drive_file Article
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

15 Aug 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 Jun 2016 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month