As the wraps came off a spanking new development at 61 Thomas Street last year, the public got its first glimpse of the remarkable historic fabric retained within the building and an introduction to John Creeth, one of Victorian Thomas Street’s more prominent merchants.
Thomas Street has a long history of distilling, brewing, and tailoring which dates back well into the 17th century. 61 Thomas Street was also once a brewhouse and inn, with records showing a building here from the 1680s. The premises came into the possession of Mr. John Creeth in 1850’s, when he opened it as a haberdashery, selling sewing materials, fabrics, buttons and much more. Creeth’s shop appears to have been a popular socialising spot on Thomas Street in its day.
The rich history of the original building was uncovered during a complex redevelopment of the site, which saw elements of the fabric of the original 17thC building, such as timber beams and a brick vault, retained in situ and a contemporary office building built around it. The ground floor was converted into a bar and restaurant.
A full archaeological excavation of the site was undertaken which brought to light John Creeth and clues to some of his predecessors at 61 Thomas Street. The excavation of the building took 18 months to complete and over 4,000 historical artefacts were found and preserved. Items including medieval pottery, sewing materials, leathers and items used within Mr. Creeth’s buzzing business. Many of the artefacts found have been documented, dated and brought to the National Museum of Ireland to be kept for future displays.
Thanks to the knowledge gained through the excavation, the new owners could fully tell the story of John Creeth and the building’s history. For example, when you step through its doors, the beams you see overhead are the same beams that John Creeth saw in his time in 1850’s. They have been beautifully preserved in the restoration of this building. As a nod to its past life, haberdashery items are still available to purchase onsite to remain as true as possible to its past use and celebrate one of the Liberties’ oldest trades.
Thomas Street is well known for its famous neighbours, the Guinness Storehouse, along with other modern ‘malthouses’ such as Roe & Co Distillery. The Liberties remains a very distinctive area of Dublin with a rich history and the new John’s Haberdashery retains a interesting link back to its past.
The team at John’s Bar and Wowburger look forward to welcoming you back shortly. More at www.johnsbar.ie.