The Bleeding Horse Pub. Located on Camden Street and established in 1649 making it one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. It has been frequented over the years by literary greats such as Joyce, La Fanu, Gogarty and Dunleavy.
The name refers to an age when horses afflicted with 'head staggers' caused by endless miles of tireless travel were , for purpose of relief , bled behind the ear by a local farrier in its courtyard. During The Battle of Rathmines in 1649, Cromwellian forces brought their wounded horses to its thatched, timber inn.
The house was a regular haunt of Joyce, Gogarty and 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 house 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.
You will notice that unlike other pubs which fill outwards when packed this one fills upwards. A maze of passageways and secluded areas zigzag 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 are also a scattering of gas fires which really help the atmosphere.
The Bleeding Horse is a great meeting place ahead of a night on the town and you'll always find space to sit, chat, smoke and drink.