St Marks (Dublin)

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now 27 Pearse Street | Photo © The Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies
now 27 Pearse Street | Photo © The Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies

27 Pearse Street was the family home and birthplace of Patrick and Willie Pearse. Pearse Street, formerly Great Brunswick Street, was laid out by the Wide Street Commission in the early nineteenth century. This 3-storey over basement Georgian house is part of a terrace built by 1823.  This busy street, near the River Liffey on Dublin’s south side, is one of the longest streets in Dublin and varies in use along its length. In 1924, it was renamed Pearse Street in honour of both Patrick and Willie Pearse. 


Originally from England, James Pearse, an ecclesiastical and architectural sculptor, conducted his business from the basement, ground floor, and yard of 27 Pearse Street. Four children were born to Margaret and James Pearse here at 27 Brunswick Street. Patrick was the first to be born there, in the back room of the first floor of the house, in 1879. During the Pearse family’s few years living there, some of the rooms in the three-storey-over-basement Georgian terraced brick house (dated circa 1820) were let to other tenants.

Such was the success of the business that the Pearse family did not reside at Pearse Street for long, moving after five years to a modest house in Sandymount in 1884.

With his business expanding, James Pearse had to rent additional properties to the rear of No. 27 to facilitate the volume of work being done. In 1882 James Pearse was awarded first prize at the Dublin Exhibition. By the time of his death, his firm was employing the largest staff of stone carvers, cutters, polishers and rubbers in Ireland.

PEARSE & SONS 1900-1910

In 1900, upon the death of their father, Willie and Patrick Pearse took over the running of the business. Willie was nineteen and studying at the Metropolitan School of Art and would later travel to London and Paris for further training. Patrick was at this stage using the title ‘Patrick H. Pearse, Sculptor’ and the company’s name had become ‘Pearse and Sons.’, 

In its first few years under their stewardship, the company continued to prosper and to win major orders. However, despite Patrick’s attention to the business, his workload for Conradh na Gaeilge, combined with Willie’s studies and a depression in the building trade, saw the business go into decline.

By 1910 Pearse and Sons was no more, being worth only £500 on dissolution. Much of this went to fund the Pearse’s Irish language school, firstly in Cullenswood House and later in St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham, County Dublin.


After the Pearse’s vacated the premises, it became home to the South City Workingmen’s Temperance Club (1913-18); the Thompson Motor Car Co. Ltd. (1920-24); C.E. Jacobs Automobile Electrical Service Co Ltd. (1927-43); a cycle agents (1943-50); upholstery companies (1950s); and a courier firm more recently.


In 1996, The Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies gained possession of the house and has since restored it as a venue for arts and culture (to include a full theatre and performance space).


The Pearse Centre at 27 Pearse Street DUBLIN Ireland VIEW SOURCE
NIAH -National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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Some communities associated with this building

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