Number 1 Merrion Square was the home in which Oscar Wilde spent his formative years – with an adoring and eccentric mother, whose subversive verse enraged the authorities, and a father who was a brilliant and innovative surgeon, an accomplished antiquarian, a fine writer, and a philanthropist. The Wilde family lived here from 1855-1879.
In 1994 the house was taken over by the American College Dublin. The first two floors have been restored to an approximate version of their appearance in Oscar’s day and can only be visited on a guided tour. Across the road, just inside the railings of Merrion Sq, is a flamboyant statue of the man himself. Crafted from a variety of precious stones, it is an aptly colourful depiction of Wilde wearing his customary smoking jacket and reclining on a rock.