Welcome to Books At One Dublin
Books at One Meath Street is located in the former Massey’s Butchers at the corner of Meath Street and the Coombe, two of the most famous streets in the Liberties, Dublin. The Liberties is one of Dublin’s oldest working class communities with families going back generations in the area.
It is steeped in history and home to the most famous stout in the world, but it is so much more than that. Its streets have seen everything from rebellion to the execution of Robert Emmet on Thomas Street to the manufacturing of the Birr Telescope. It houses the beginning of the Camino de Santiago on James’s Street and the first ever social housing estate built by the Irish Free State in 1922, the Tenters.
But what makes the Liberties so unique is the people who call it home, past and present. The Liberties has produced writers, musicians, actors, poets, singers, artists, revolutionaries and craftspeople of every type.
Zozimus, the ‘Blind Bard of the Liberties’, Imelda May and Johnathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels and one time Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral are just a few of its famous residents. It is home to Marsh’s Library, Ireland’s oldest public library, which opened in 1707 and regularly hosted a teenage Bram Stoker, who went on to create the world’s most famous vampire, Dracula.
The Liberties welcomed some of the almost 10,000 Huguenots who came to Ireland fleeing persecution in France in the 1600s and they brought with them their trades, all skills that are still reflected in the street names of the Liberties, from Cow Parlour to Marrowbone Lane to Engine Alley.
The Liberties has always been an area full of creativity, be that poetry, industry, writing or music. It is a community that has seen highs and lows, but has thrived despite the challenges, a community that has never given up in the face of adversity – it’s not called the ‘Rebel Liberties’ for nothing! And with the arrival of ‘Books at One’ in that community’s beating heart of Meath Street, a future Bram Stoker or Jonathan Swift may find their own inspiration in this creative and thriving district.
Historian and Author and Liberties Local