1685 – Proposal for Citadel, Dublin

Architect: Thomas Phillips



A proposal from 1685 for a large star fort covering a good portion of what is now considered the Georgian core of the south city centre. The suggestion was that mortar fire from a raised citadel in this location could rain fire down on an area from Bloody Bridge to Ringsend and to the Phoenix Park and even the edge of Clontarf. The coastline being in a different position then as to now, would allow ships to relieve the citadel in the event of a siege.

Thomas Phillips (c.1635–1693), a military engineer and topographical watercolourist, was sent to Ireland on the instructions of the master of the king’s ordnance, Lord Dartmouth, to survey and report on the principal fortified places on the island. He was also asked to draw exact designs of their condition and estimate the cost of any necessary repairs and fortification so that they were capable of withstanding invasion. The cessation of hostilities beteen England and Holland meant there was no need for the proposal to be acted upon.