St. Andrew Street comprises part of an area of the city centre recognised for centuries as a site of civic and ceremonial importance. Originally known as Hog Hill, then Church Street and finally St. Andrew Street, the street was the last vestige of the ancient ‘Hoggens’, the Viking word for ceremonial, which gave its name to the original Hoggen Green, now College Green.
The Viking ceremonial site itself was known as the ‘Thingmote’, a substantial hill positioned on the current site of the Ulster Bank on Suffolk Street extending towards College Green. This was a significant feature of the medieval and post-medieval city and was only cleared during the 1680s, when its spoil was used to build up nearby Nassau Street, then known as St. Patrick’s Well Lane. The area subsequently succumbed to intensive property development leading into the 18th century.
Number 2 St. Andrew Street was constructed during the 1760s as part of a second wave of speculative development in the area during the mid-18th century. This rebuilding extended along William Street, redeveloping many of the original houses that had been constructed in the second half of the 1600s.
The design and layout of Number 2 is typical for a Dublin house of this period. It features two rooms per floor with a staircase placed in the centre of the plan, illuminated from the top floor by means of a roof lantern. To each room is a corner chimneybreast shared between the party and the staircase walls. This arrangement is common to houses of the 1760s and 1770s and can be found on streets such as South William Street, Abbey Street and Gardiner Row.
The exterior features a high quality red brick facade, relatively small windows and a robust 'block-and-start' Gibbsian doorcase carved from granite. A carved stone street sign mounted on the facade is one of the last of its kind surviving in Dublin.
Notable residents of Andrew Street during the 18th century included landscape painter George Barret, politician and Master of the Rolls John Philpot Curran who lived there c.1775, and James Henthorn, first Secretary of the Royal College of Surgeons.