Four Courts Marshalsea

St AnnesCounty Dublin

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demolished in 1975

The Four Courts Marshalsea (no longer extant) was a prison in Dublin up until 1874. After which it was used as a barracks by the Dublin Militia in the later 19th century.

  • The Four Courts Marshalsea in Marshalsea Lane was located off Marshal Lane (now Robert Emmet Close), off Bridgefoot Street, off Thomas Street. 

In 1837, it was described by Samuel Lewis as "a large building ... the prison has two court-yards, two chapels, several common halls and a ball-court."

John Dillon said in 1898:

"I remember the Marshalsea Prison in Dublin, and in that gaol we had a nice suite of rooms, and we had balls there, and many a pleasant hour I have spent there, in the society of many of the most delightful men in Dublin, who were in the habit of spending some time at that resort. This was 25 years ago, and it was perfectly well recognised then that there was no kind of punishment in the debtors' gaol. They were held there until they made an arrangement with their creditors, but they had everything that their means would allow them to have in prison."

Originally the Four Courts Marshalsea was a remand prison for criminal trials in the Four Courts, and a debtor's prison for cases brought to the Court of King's Bench (one of the Four Courts) from all over Ireland.

The Four Courts Marshalsea was abolished by the Four Courts Marshalsea Discontinuance Act 1874, because of "the very small and diminishing number of persons in that prison, and to the very large prison staff in proportion to the number of prisoners".

Following its demolition in 1975, some of the stone went to repair the City wall at Cook Street.

References

Archiseek: The Marshalsea Dublin Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Type of Building:

Gaol

Communities Associated with this Building

Timeline Events Associated with this Building