1869 – Sheils’ Institution, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

Architect: Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon


The Sheils’ Institution comprised of 24 self contained almshouses built circa 1869 by Charles Sheils Almshouses Charity for poor ladies. A wealthy merchant from County Down, Sheils devoted his life and money into helping the elderly particularly women after the death of his own wife.

Built in Gothic Revival style designed by Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon with solid granite facades and carved gargoyles. The twenty four houses offered rent free accommodation. Sheil’s Will specified that “each almshouse to have a separate entrance from the public road or path, and to be about 14 or 15 feet in breadth and 20 feet or upwards in length, and to be built in a neat, permanent and workmanlike manner, with two floors, the ground floor to be raised at least one foot above the level of the adjacent ground, and to contain a sitting room or kitchen, with a scullery, and place for coals and potatoes, and cupboards, shelves and other suitable conveniences, with a yard, midden, pighouse, and privy in the rear, the upper floor to contain two sleeping rooms, one a little bigger than the other, each sleeping room to contain one good sized bed and other suitable furniture”.

By the 1990s the original Sheils buildings in Dublin had fallen into disrepair and were not up to standard expected. A developer bought over the original buildings and constructed 27 new houses and apartments, fully up to modern standards for the charity.