Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital

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Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Grand Canal Street

Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital was a hospital and school for physicians on Grand Canal Street, Dublin which opened in 1808 and was named after the Irish physician Sir Patrick Dun.


The Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital on Grand Canal Street was founded after the School of Physic Act 1800 set in motion better powers to utilise funds from Dun's will. Sir Patrick Dun had died in 1713, leaving lands in county Waterford in trust to the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The College was to use the income to pay for a Professor of Physic in Dublin. By 1800 the estates were producing far more income that Dun had anticipated and the School of Physic Act provided for the establishment of a further three professors and a hospital where they could given clinical lectures.

On 14 January 1788, due to a desire to have a School of Physic for clinical lectures, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland set up a clinical hospital in a house on Clarendon Street. This served its purpose until a report on 14 August 1790 showed that the costs were too high compared to other hospitals. On 8 November 1790 the hospital was closed and its equipment distributed to Mercer's Hospital and Dr Steevens' Hospital.

On 9 July 1792 a house on Wellington Quay (previously Blind Quay) was leased by the College and on 27 September 1792 it was opened as Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital. This address didn't last very long, as on 16 February 1793 it is noted that the College appointed a Physician in Ordinary at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital on Lower Exchange Street. The hospital was initially kept open all year around, but later opened for only part of the year.

The School of Physic Act 1800 entrusted eight commissioners to appropriate the £1,200 already given to the College for the provision of a hospital that was capable of holding thirty patients. The commissioners were the Sackville Hamilton, the Provost of Trinity College, the President of the College of Physicians, Sir Francis Hutchinson Baronet, the Hon George Knox, Dr Arthur Browne, William Digges La Touche and Abraham Wilkinson Esquires.

They choose the land at Grand Canal Street with a 998-year lease signed 10 May 1802 with building commencing in 1803. By 1808, £6,346 of Sir Patrick Dun's funds had been spent building the west wing of the hospital, but it was not enough. Parliamentary aid was sought and £6,204 was granted to finish the building of the hospital, furnish it and run it temporarily. The hospital building was completed 24 June 1808 and the hospital was handed over to the Board of Governors. The school opened for clinical instruction on 24 October 1808. As well as providing clinical instruction for medical students Dun's Hospital also taught midwifery and trained army nurses. The first scientific nursing training in Ireland was introduced at the hospital in the 1880s by Margaret Huxley.

The hospital closed in the 1980s as part of the redistribution of medical services in Dublin, and the services transferred to St. James's Hospital.

The building was used by the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology for a time and now the Eastern Heath Board. It is also used for Civil Ceremonies.

The building[edit]

The founding stone of the hospital was laid in 1803 and later opened in 1808. It is a granite faced building that is said to have been influenced by George Papworth.[1]

Notable physicians[edit]


  1. ^ McDermott, Matthew J. (1988). "Dublin's Architectural Development 1800-1925", Tulcamac, p141 ISBN 1-871212-01-4
  2. ^ Dublin Journal of Medical Science, Volume 139, Number 3 / March, 1915
  3. ^ Obituary, BMJ, 22 July 1933
  4. ^

Coordinates: 53°20′20″N 6°14′28″W / 53.338954°N 6.241174°W / 53.338954; -6.241174