Our series of courses and seminars provide training and technical skills in the repair and maintenance of historic and traditionally built structures. They are aimed at people wishing to upskill, train or develop practical knowledge in the field of the historic built environment, including architects, surveyors, planners, project managers and supervisors, and anyone with a general interest in historic buildings and materials.

Most courses and seminars take place over one day, and consist of a mixture of lectures and practical demonstrations, sometimes including a site visit in Dublin city centre to inspect conservation works in progress.

Courses are rated for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and The Society of Chartered Surveyors, and most events are considered applicable for CPD by other professional bodies. All participants are issued with a certificate of attendance following each seminar.

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Mountjoy Square Historic Ironwork Workshop & Seminar

Friday 22nd September 2017

Price: €95.00
Structured CPD Points: 5
Location: 65 Mountjoy Square West, Dublin 1


Dublin Civic Trust and The Mountjoy Square Society are pleased to announce details of a one-day seminar and live demonstration workshop showcasing the ongoing repair and conservation of the historic wrought-iron railings of Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1.

This pioneering project, one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Ireland, is being led by Dublin City Council’s Parks and Landscape Department as an action of its Mountjoy Square Conservation Plan – a study that was jointly commissioned with the Mountjoy Square Society in 2014.

Mountjoy Square

The wrought-iron railings of Mountjoy Square are the largest single ensemble of Georgian railings surviving within Dublin’s canal ring, erected c.1803 by the Mountjoy Square Commissioners to enclose the square’s central garden. The railings feature an axial arrangement of four centred entrance gates, a Leinster granite plinth wall and distinctive quadrant sweeps to the corners of the square - all originally mounted with a series of 84 ‘globe-iron’ lamp standards,

Unlike other Dublin squares such as Merrion Square and St. Stephen’s Green that were denuded of their original railings in the late 20th century, Mountjoy Square has retained all of its original ironwork – albeit now in an advanced state of disrepair.

Under the direction of master blacksmith Paul Devlin and conservation stonework contractors Cairn Construction, with architectural oversight from Howley Hayes Architects, the railings are currently being systematically conserved to best practice standard – moving clockwise from the Gardiner Street side.


Newly restored railings on Mountjoy Square

Newly restored railings on Mountjoy Square


This one-day seminar will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the breadth and quality of the works presently being undertaken. It will allow those involved in building conservation, period building maintenance, works specification and interested members of the public to learn at first hand from the works and the experienced contractors involved.

A particular emphasis is being placed on the feasibility of reinstating the 84 'globe-iron' lamp standards that were originally integrated into the railings of Mountjoy Square - as was common to most of Dublin's Georgian squares. Braun Lighting Solutions, international leaders in historic urban lighting design, will give a presentation on successful achievements in this field in Germany and continental Europe. The seminar will also showcase the lamp-iron model that has been developed for Mountjoy Square in a collaboration between Dublin Civic Trust, The Mountjoy Square Society and Dublin City Council Parks Department.  


Hosted in the magnificent 1790s rooms of a newly restored Georgian mansion at 65 Mountjoy Square West, the day takes two parts: a morning seminar of lectures exploring the history, craftsmanship, challenges and design specification of Mountjoy Square and its railings, followed by an afternoon demonstration of live metalworking hosted on-site on the west side of the square.



09.45 – 10.00

10.00 – 10.30
Mountjoy Square History & Development
Karin O’Flanagan, The Mountjoy Square Society

10.30 – 11.00
Mountjoy Square Park Conservation Plan & Railings Project
Dublin City Council Parks & Landscape Service

11.00 – 11.30

11.30 – 11.45
Georgian Lighting & Mountjoy Square’s ‘Globe-Irons’
Graham Hickey, Dublin Civic Trust           

11.45 - 12.20
Design-led LED lighting in the Historic Urban Environment
André Braun & Christian Zeher, Braun Lighting Solutions, Berlin

12.20 – 13.00
Mountjoy Square Railings Repair Strategy
Paul Devlin, Blacksmith

13.00 – 14.00

14.00 – 16.00
On-site blacksmithing demonstration, west side Mountjoy Square Park
Paul Devlin & colleagues




Previous course topics and themes

Structural upgrading

Structural Repair of Historic Buildings

Historic Ironwork - History, Identification & Repair

Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings

Traditional Windows - History, Repair and Thermal Upgrading

Structural Repairs to Derelict and Ruined Structures

Timber Decay & Damp in Historic Buildings

Historic Decorative Finishes - History, Repair and Reinstatement

Wallpaper in Ireland - History and Conservation

Historic Plaster in Ireland - Walls, Ceilings and Decorative Work

Historic Brickwork - History, Repair, Jointing and Pointing

Fanlights - History, Repair and Maintenance

Traditional Roofing - History, Repair and Conservation

Stonework in Historic Buildings - Repair and Cleaning

Mechanical and Electrical Installations in Historic Buildings

Planning Legislation - Protected Structures & Architectural Conservation Areas

Course leaders and speakers

Ian Hume, former Chief Engineer, Historic England 

Dr Gerald Lynch, Master Bricklayer

Peter Lawson Smith, OBE

Dr Brian Ridout, Ridout Associates

Edward Byrne, Traditional Lime Company

Nicki Matthews, Conservation Officer, Dublin City Council

Richard Ireland, Historic Decorative Plaster, Paint & Finishes Expert

Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation, Historic Environment Scotland

Sven Habermann, Manager, Conservation-Letterfrack

Chris Wood, Historic England

Contractors including MacLyn Conservation Joinery and Lambstongue

Programme of events 2017

We will be using out flagship new building conservation project at 18 Ormond Quay Upper in Dublin city centre as a centre of demonstration and learning over the course of 2017-2018.

In this prominently located historic house overlooking the river Liffey, we will be exploring traditional materials and construction, historic design elements and features, and conservation and repair techniques. This will include roofing, plasterwork, joinery and the integration of modern services.

We will be launching our programme of events later in the year. In the meantime, sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye out for social media feeds.