The Bleeding Horse Pub, Est 1649.
The Bleeding Horse pub is located on Camden Street and was established in 1649 making it one of Dublin's oldest pubs.
The name 'The Bleeding Horse' is said to refer to an age when horses afflicted with 'head staggers' caused by endless miles of tireless travel were, for the purpose of relief, bled behind the ear by a local farrier in its courtyard. Another theory is that the name of the pub comes from an incident during the Battle of Rathmines in 1649, when a wounded horse fled from Cromwellian forces to its thatched, timber inn.
The Bleeding Horse has been mentioned in several novels, including the 'Cock and Anchor' (1845) by Sheridan Le Fanu and 'Ulysses' by James Joyce. The pub was a regular haunt of James Joyce, Oliver St.John Gogarty, James Clarence Mangan and John Millington Synge who often attended literary meetings at the nearby Camden Hall. Joyce apparently found himself ejected for falling down drunk in the hallway and looking up the skirt of a leading actress. It is said that Joyce greatly enjoyed his evenings in The Bleeding Horse where he cajoled, excited and shocked the stall sellers of Camden Street markets.
You will find the Bleeding Horse today is a fitting tribute to its former heritage. Restored to something of its 18th century image, the pub is pleasant and unconventional to the eye in an organised maze of brick, rafters, wooden beams and balconies. Loads of pitch pine and yellow pine everywhere. The centre has been scooped out leaving balconies and mezzanines overhanging the main flagstone bar. The balconies were once church railings. The exposed timbers, high ceilings and the minstrel gallery can conjure up the image of a medieval banqueting hall.
You will notice that unlike other pubs which fill outwards when packed this one fills upwards. A maze of passageways and secluded areas zig zag and intertwine, you could be coming here for years and still find a cosy haven that you haven't imbibed in before. The lower lounge has two idyllic snugs which are concealed either side of the bar. There is also a scattering of gas fires which really help the atmosphere.