Oscar Wilde spent his formative years in this Dublin home. Attending his mother’s iconic salons from an early age, he was able to sharpen his wit and become one of the greatest Victorian playwrights.
A colorful statue of Oscar Wilde still looks on from across the street on his Merrion Square perch. His face smirks and frowns depending on how you look at it.
The building has a medical history, too. Sir William Wilde, Oscar’s father, ran Dublin’s most prestigious eye and ear medical practice out of the family residence. In 1863, he was appointed oculist ordinary to Queen Victoria, and in 1864 he was knighted. At the end of that very year, he was accused of sexually assaulting an anesthetized female patient under his care.
The American College Dublin runs the house tours, which take visitors through various rooms including the Wildes’ dining room, sitting room, and Sir William’s infamous surgery. The college also holds lectures here. You’ll find international degree-seeking students hiking up and down the Georgian stairwell, on their way to attend lectures ranging from “James Joyce’s Ulysses” to “Energy Economics and Policy.”
Know Before You Go
The guided tours run April through September at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The house is located on Merrion Square, a short walk from Pearse Station and the Dawson St. Luas stop.