Geological Museum

  • Free to visit
  • Rainy days
  • Hidden gem
  • Family friendly
The Museum Building in Trinity College as been home to the geology department almost 160 years and housed the Geology Museum with over 80,000 specimens until 2014. The Geology Museum has moved to Trinity Technology and Enterprise Centre (TTEC), Pearse Street, open by appointment. But the Museum Building interior is stunning and well worth a visit. The lobby has giant Irish deer skeletons from the Pleistocene era and some displays of minerals and fossils.

The light-coloured Museum Building, Trinity College, is decorated with intricate botanical carvings and is a prime example of Victorian architecture. Push hard on the heavy wooden door - it may appear closed, but is usually unlocked from 9am - 5pm, except in Summer when they might close a bit earlier.

You will be greeted by two Pleistocene-era giant Irish deer skeletons that stand guard over a display area with minerals and fossils. The entrance opens into a fantastic space with a large staircase, beautiful pillars, balustrades & banisters, made of a range of colourful Irish marbles and Cornish serpentine. It was the first time Connemara marble & other Irish marbles were used as structural parts of a building, and not simply as decoration. The domed roof is made of blue, red & yellow enameled bricks.

The Museum building, which housed the geology department almost 160 years, as well as the geography & engineering departments, was built 1853-57 and was inspired by the Byzantine architecture of Venice with many delicate carvings. The exterior walls are constructed from Calp Limestone, Ballyknockan granite and Portland stone. The many interior and exterior carvings were executed by the Cork-born brothers John and James O'Shea, who gathered fresh flowers to use as their models. The beautiful building has been used as a filming location a number of times.

The Geological Museum has moved to the Trinity Technology and Enterprise Centre (TTEC), Pearse Street. You can arrange a visit with the Curator by phoning +353(0)1 896 1477. The Museum features collections that date from 1777, and comprise about 100,000 research specimens of fossils, minerals and rocks.

You may wish to drop into the Geological Society of Ireland Customer Centre off Haddington Road (near the National Print Museum). The GSI Cusomer Centre is open to the public Monday-Friday 9.30am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm. Here they have maps and publications all about Irish geology for purchase (no cash/ card only).

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