Dublin Photos Part 3 – Signage and Storefronts

This is part 3 of my selection of photos from my recent trip to Dublin. This installment is devoted to interesting signs and storefronts.

The linguist in me was particularly fascinated by the bilingual signs on roads and official buildings and I took quite a few photos to everybody’s bafflement, because people don’t usually take photos of roadsigns. Should I ever end up teaching introductory English linguistics again, these will photos will go into my presentation on the Celtic languages. I now have photos of bilingual signage in all three Celtic languages still spoken in the British Isles plus videoclips in all three languages.

Anyway, here are two bilingual signs:

Bilingual sign

Bilingual sign on an official building

Memorial plaque

Bilingual memorial plaque for the dead of the 1916 Easter rising

Building front

Interesting modern building front with Irish inscription and Celtic knotwork ornamentation

I also saw some cool vintage neon advertising:

Neon sign

Animated neon sign for hair growing tonic

Neon sign

Vintage neon advertising for a jewelery shop. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to photograph it lit up.

A surprising number of commercial buildings had beautiful vintage clocks. You can see one of them on the facade of the Happy Ring House above. Here are two more:

Storefront clock

Clock with mechanical figures on a storefront


Clock at the building of the Irish Times newspaper

Of course, we also saw some great pub signs:

Pub sign

Pub sign featuring a fox


A colony of trolls living in the window of a pub in the Temple Bar area

The Bachelor Inn

The Bachelor Inn, a literary pub decorated all over with quotes from Dublin's great writers

For more buildings with literary relevance, here is Hodges Figgis bookstore, which was founded in 1761 and mentioned by James Joyce in Ulysses, ironically in a scene about hitting on women in bookstores. Nice to know that sort of thing was already going on in 1904. Hodges Figgis has an excellent fantasy and SF section, by the way. I also liked their linguistics section, though it was crammed into the furthest corner of the top floor.

Hodges Figgis bookstore

Hodges Figgis bookstore, founded in 1761 and mentioned in Ulysses

We saw a lot of grocery stores catering to East European immigrants. There were Czech shops, Slovakian shops, Polish shops, Moldavian shops and Romanian shops. There also was a street full of shops catering to African and Caribbean immigrants.

Polish grocery store

Polish grocery stores

Finally, just because it’s beautiful:

Garden shop

Mr. Middleton's Garden Shop

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6 Responses to Dublin Photos Part 3 – Signage and Storefronts

  1. Estara says:

    Love the clocks and that bookstore building and of course I still envy you getting to browse among lots of real English books – although these days with my ebook reader I have not run out of new stuff to read yet ^^.

    I adore the Fox pub sign, especially considering he is wearing a hunt jacket, which would normally be worn by the people hunting him.

    I adore Mr. Middleton’s whose site say they’re the Nr. 1 Garden Centre in Ireland ^^ – the online shop certainly seems to be extensive.

    Mr. Middleton Garden Shop is an Irish-owned family run garden centre right in the heart of Dublin. For over 30 years, our family has supplied Irish gardeners with the very best seeds, bulbs, plants, greenhouses, garden tools, composting products, lawn mowers and fruit cages to name a few of our garden supplies and garden products from around the world. We are gardeners first and foremost so we know what works well in Irish gardens and the importance of good garden seeds, bulbs, tools and supplies.

    Many of the garden products sold on our Online Garden Centre or in our Garden Shop are exclusive to Mr Middleton, and we hope this web site will make them available to a wider public who may not be unable to visit us in person. Order online or visit us in-store. Mr Middleton Garden Shop, the number One Garden Centre in Ireland.

    • Cora says:

      The clocks were a real surprise, because there were so many, usually on commercial or department store buildings. They were really lovely and you always know the correct time.

      And of course, I can never pass by an English language bookstore, though they are dangerous places for my wallet and my luggage weight. The fact that this one had an excellent SFF section (which I didn’t necessarily expect from a traditional shop mentioned in Ulysses) was an added bonus. Personal browsing is always better, even though Amazon and e-books have made it easier to get pretty much any book. I still remember the days of picking out the book I desperately wanted/needed among the tiny print of the big Books in print catalogue at the one local bookstore that carried English language books and then spelling out the title to the English challenged bookstore clerk letter by letter.

      This shop also had me furiously scribbling down interesting titles in their academic section for future reference that I cannot justify buying unless I need them for research or a class I’m teaching. I also spotted something called The Writer’s Toolbox, a kit full of inspirational games, which I’d love to use if I ever persuade the school to let me teach creative writing.

      Also thanks for the link to Mr Middleton. I’ll forward it to my Dad, he is a big gardener and will probably love it. I just ordered some gardening supplies for him online.

      • Estara says:

        Well the selection at Mr. Middleton’s isn’t that great when you browse into it but I like the idea of that hedge hideaway for wheelie bins, I have to say ^^.

        I just had to enter that address when I read the sign at the top ;-).

        • Cora says:

          Considering how ugly the wheelie bins in the driveway of the building on the other side of the road look, a fake hedge can only be an improvement. Of course, considering that the whole building is an eyesore, perhaps there should be a hedge hideaway for ugly buildings.

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