‘Hell’ was a rather infamous part of Dublin in the eighteenth century,renowned for its drinking culture and taverns, as well as a strange wooden statue of the devil. I first came across ‘Hell’ in the pages of the classic Me Jewel And Darlin’ Dublin, in which it was noted by Éamonn Mac Thomáis that:
‘Hell’ was the site just beyond Christ Church Yard near St. Michael’s Hill. It was a small area of taverns and bed-and-breakfast establishments in the Monto style. Robert Burns, the poet, wrote a few verses about Dublin’s Hell.
He also claimed that the reputation of the area was so bad that “The Provost of Trinity College Dublin told the students on more than one ocasion that ‘Dublin’s Hell’ was out-of-bounds and that he would expel anyone found there at night-time.”
Frank Hopkins writes of the area in his
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