St Michael le Pole Church

St BridesCounty Dublin

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Illustration by Gabriel Beranger (1729–1817)

St Michael le Pole aka “St Michael of the Pool” (the “Black Pool” from which Dubhlinn took its name) was one of Dublin's oldest churches, dating back to the 6th century.

Located between modern Dublin's Chancery Lane and Ship Street, the round tower of St Michael le Pole stood for almost 700 years before it was taken down in the late 18th century.

Circa 1738 an eminent antiquarian, having applied for contributions to repair the tower, saw that it was scaffolded from the ground, and well pointed with stone and mortar, both within and without.

However, the effects of a storm of in November, 1775, were irreparable.

“The round tower which adjoined the church was taken down in 1778, but some fragments of it remained as late as 1782. It was originally about 90 feet high, but in the great storm of November 1775 it was so much shaken that many of the stones fell out, and the centre became what is termed ‘bulged,’ which rendered it dangerous to the schoolhouse and to the neighbouring houses.

The tower was taken down to the level of the roof of the schoolhouse at the expense of £19 6s. 9d., and the stone was used to repair the wall of the churchyard and engine-house.”

The above illustration by Gabriel Beranger (1729–1817) was drawn early 18th century, just before the tower was demolished on health and safety grounds.

In early 2020, an archictectural dig near the site of this church revealed many new discoveries about Viking Dublin. 

READ MORE Proof Viking Dublin was much larger than we thought 


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