Dublin, Ireland is home to one of the most haunted places in the Country, Brazen Head Pub. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
Established in 1198 as tavern and alehouse, the Brazen Head is considered the second oldest pub in Ireland. Sean’s Bar has documented proof that it is older, The Brazen Head boldly claims that it is “Ireland’s Oldest Pub.” It was built as a coaching inn in 1754, on the site of a merchant's dwelling dating back to at least 1613. Regardless, it is considered one of the most haunted pubs in the world!
It was here, in the late 18th century, that the United Irishmen planned their revolution and Irish Patriot Robert Emmet (b. 1778) used the inn and tavern to plan The Rising of 1798. Not only did Emmet live there, but it became a prime location for plotting against British Rule. The Brazen Head was strategically close to Dublin Castle the seat of English power in Ireland and the United Irishmen's main target for attack. Here is where Robert Emmet took leadership and this inn was his principal dwelling. Emmet stayed at the premises in a room overlooking the main door so he could see possible enemies approach. His rebellion failed.
On September 20, 1803, he was executed by hanged and beheaded on nearby Thomas Street. But this was no ordinary executions. Read below under "The Hauntings". Emmet was the last to receive this medieval sentence from a British court in Ireland. Ironically the Hangman used to also drink in The Brazen Head.
There were other warriors that sought refuge at this local pub. Michael Collins (1890-1922), was part of the United Irishmen of 1916 and the leaders of the War of Independence. Collins and others gathered here for meetings to plan the revolution. The Brazen Head was almost destroyed during the Easter Rising of 1916 and again during the Civil War of 1922.
Other famous patrons known to have visited the establishment include, including author James Joyce, who mentioned the pub in his novel Ulysses; Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels;
The name of the establishment leaves much intrigue. Made of brass or bronze, it is a sculptured male head used for magical duties. It was a legendary automaton whose ownership was affiliated in the early modern period to late medieval scholars and wizards, such as Roger Bacon.
The Brazen Head Pub writes:
"There is a real sense of history throughout The Brazen Head which has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you to The Brazen Head where you can raise your glass and shout a resounding “Slainte ! “ as you do."
This incredible is visited by one of its former patrons from the very early 19th Century, "Bold" Robert Emmet. He was a rebel leader in The Rising who, as an inmate at the Haunted Kilmainham Gaol, was hanged in September 1803. When hung, he was drawn and quartered nearby on Thomas Street. It is said that his blood ran down the street towards the Brazen Head, where he would meet with his followers.
In his speech from the dock during his trial, Emmet famously asked that his grave not be marked until Ireland was a sovereign nation. With great patriotism, he proclaimed,
“Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my name remains uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.”
When some of his friends went to reintern his remains in St Michan’s Church in Church Street, a church associated with the United Irishmen, they found there was nobody there, and so began a search which endures to this day. As for the search for Emmet’s remains, it goes on. The mystery continues. As many of his supporters have said over the last two centuries: “Do not look for him. His grave is Ireland”.
But his ghost lives on. It is rumored his headless apparition appears watching out for enemies in this old pub. He's often spotted in the corner of the bar, watching out for enemies where he held Resistance meetings. Most importantly, he is also keeping an eye out for his executioner, who also apparently frequented the pub. Many say, that Emmet secretly buried in one of the Brazen Head's crypts.
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More spooky reads about Haunted Ireland...
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