The Casino Marino
Hidden in between St Vincents GAA Club and The Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre at the O' Brien Institute, The Casino Marino is one of Dublins' hidden little gems. Deceptively small in appearance (it is only 15metres squared) the building has 16 glorious, ornate, beautiful rooms. Guided tours are from March to October and I can fully attest that these tours are magificent and well worth the admission of a few euro. Recently discovered tunnels under the Casino revealed secrets of the Irish War of Independence where Michael Collins used the tunnels to test machine guns in preperation for guerilla attacks. The recently added stone entrance to the Casino only adds to the allure of this neo classical building. Construction started in 1750 and finally completed in 1775. Built for the 1st Earl of Charlemont James Caulfield by architect William Chambers who after a tour of Europe was amoured by all things Italian and decided he wanted a 'Casino' (Italian for 'Little House') on his estate. Marino is named after a town in Lazio in which the earl visted in the 1750s. Huge banquets were held on the estate with all vegtables and meat grown on the estate. Further on diwn the Malahide road is The Marino Crescent which dates from 1792, when they were built deliberately high by Charles Ffolliot to block the sea views of Lord Charlemont from nearby Marino House. The houses made history as their foundations were excavated: unearthed bones were claimed as remains from the 11th century Battle of Clontarf. If you get a chance make sure you head to this little gem in Dublin.
Here is a link to some shots of The Casino