Phil you're in luck - of all the most bizarre coincidences, there was an old programme on RTE 1 last night from the archives, focusing on amongst other things, the laying of the cobbles in Trinity!
Admittedly, I thought they were late 19th centurytoo, dating from the installation of the cast iron furniture of Parliament Square.
It turns out they date from around 1977/78, when the programme was made!
They were laid in the traditional painstaking manner, each one individually placed onto a deep bed of sand, and then tapped a bit here, another bit there, checking to see if the stone was flush with the others, then adjusting and checking levels again and so on on for each stone.
The more regular setts, also laid at the same time, such as those infront of the Campanile, were nicked from Smithfield of all places, from the fruit market. How extraordinary, that part of Smithfield's history and heritage was lost, to benefit another historic area. Also interesting is that exactly the same simple material is used in two hugely contrasting areas/institutions in the city.
It was unclear however if cobbles were there before, although I think it was said that 'these cobbles are being relaid'.
Also featured was the first major restoration in the city, that of the Bank of Ireland across the road, which was going on at the same time.
Interestingly, much of the work was carried out not by 30-somethings in fluoresent jackets with degrees coming out their ears, but rather by men in their 50s and 60s who had been in the trade for decades. Their skill and ease working with such an historic building was so impressive.
I think everyone knows this already - but all of the huge blocks of rustication surrrounding the ground floor were replaced at this time, which is why they're in such perfect condition today.
And it was extraordinary to see the building in all its different parts during the restoration, as when the original granite blocks were removed, reality hit in, as the building, like so many Georgians is simply a big pile of rubble shrouded in a theatre set of cut stone.
There's about a foot or two of a gap behind the curving cut stone screen walls of the building, and then the 'real' structure begins, built of a load of rough stone and slapdash mortar.
The camera also got right up to cornice height
on the scaffolding, and the detail and depth of carving on the column capitals was just extraordinary to see up close.
And about now, the capitals of the House of Lords badly need cleaning, they are by far the most elaborate in the city and should be seen in all their glory. Unfortunately this corinthian design is a very bad dirt collector, as is evident on the Four Courts too. City Hall is a great example of how fantastic they can look.