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The Three Tun Tavern

This pub has bicycle handlebars as light-fittings!

1–5 Temple Road, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, County Dublin

First recorded in the second half of the 18th century, the Three Tun Tavern was ‘renowned for its good cheer’. The name of the long-lost inn lives on in this pub. These licensed premises were originally three separate properties. Over the years, they housed a variety of businesses. The middle property was occupied by a cycle-fitter for around 70 years. The corner building was a long-time bar.

A plaque documenting the history of The Three Tun Tavern.

The plaque reads: These licensed premises were originally three separate properties (1, 3 & 5 Temple Road), which over the years housed a variety a different businesses. The middle property was the premises of a cycle fitter/agent for seventy years or so and the corner property was a long-time bar. The building is now named after one of Blackrock’s lost inns. The long-standing Three Tun Tavern was first recorded here in the latter half of the 18th century, when it was ‘kept by one Bishop, a worthy host, and was renowned for good cheer’.

These premises were refurbished by J D Wetherspoon and opened in July 2014.

An illustration and text about the history of The Three Tun Tavern.

The text reads: The Three Tun Tavern was previously three properties, numbers 1, 3 and 5 Temple Road. From the early 1900s until the late 1970s, no. 3 was said to have been the premises of a cycle fitter. No. 1 Temple Road has been a bar since the 1950s and, located on the corner of Carysfort Avenue, it was named Cary’s Fort Bar in the 1980s.

No. 23 Carysfort Avenue was once the home of Irish novelist and poet, James Joyce. The Joyce family moved the Blackrock in 1892 and into the house known as Leoville, it was here that Joyce, aged 10, first began to write. Scenes from Blackrock and his childhood feature in his first novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, reliving his experiences through the main character, Stephen.

Joyce was not the only notable resident of Blackrock. In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop patented the inflatable pneumatic tyre that revolutionised the bicycle and 1889, together with William Harvey du Cros of South Hill, Blackrock, he set up the Pneumatic Tyre and Booths Cycle Agency in Dublin. In 1896, after much growth and many name changes, Du Cross was registered as joint Managing Director of the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company Ltd, after Dunlop had transferred control of the patent and the company in return for 1,500 shared before retiring to Dublin. Du Cros went on to found the Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd in 1901, having now acquired manufacturing units, depots and purpose built premises in Coventry, London and Birmingham. They became the first to succeed in capitalising on this invention on such a scale.

“Blackrock” is an abbreviation of its various ancient titles, including Newtown-at-the Black Rock and Newtown on the Strand by the Black Rock, named so until the early 1600s as a result of local geological rock formations of Calp Limestone that, when wet, appear black. The rock was extensively used for the wall cappings between Williamstown and Blackrock and can also be seen in the walls of the train station at Blackrock.

The Three Tun Tavern pays homage to a pub with the same name that once existed elsewhere in Blackrock at the end of the 18th century. A tun is a large beer cask of barrel. The previous Three Tun Tavern was owned by a Bishop who was said to have been a worthy host, and was renowned for its good cheer.

Artwork inspired by the premises’ former use as a cycle-fitter.



A light-fitting created from bicycle handlebars.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk