Sandycove, Co. Dublin
Opening Hours
Open 10am to 6pm.

The James Joyce Tower is open every day of the year.

Admission Charges

Admission Free.
Donations Welcome.

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Upcoming Events
May
31
Wed
11:00 am Finnegans Wake Readings each Wed... @ Fitzgerald's Pub
Finnegans Wake Readings each Wed... @ Fitzgerald's Pub
May 31 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Readings from Irish literature.  We were reading Ulysses. From November 18th reading James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. If you wish to join in and read that’s great but if you don’t feel like reading aloud, you[...]
Jun
7
Wed
11:00 am Finnegans Wake Readings each Wed... @ Fitzgerald's Pub
Finnegans Wake Readings each Wed... @ Fitzgerald's Pub
Jun 7 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Readings from Irish literature.  We were reading Ulysses. From November 18th reading James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. If you wish to join in and read that’s great but if you don’t feel like reading aloud, you[...]
Jun
10
Sat
all-day Bloomsday Festival 2017 @ James Joyce Tower
Bloomsday Festival 2017 @ James Joyce Tower
Jun 10 – Jun 16 all-day
Bloomsday Festival 2017 @ James Joyce Tower
The Bloomsday festival takes place in Sandycove and Glasthule from the Saturday 10th to Friday 16th June. The last day of the festival is Bloomsday as commemorated on Joyce’s famous work, Ulysses. Individual events at[...]
2:00 pm Bloomsday 2017 – Music at the Tower @ James Joyce Tower
Bloomsday 2017 – Music at the Tower @ James Joyce Tower
Jun 10 @ 2:00 pm
Bloomsday 2017 - Music at the Tower @ James Joyce Tower
Noel O’Grady, five time winner of Oireachtas na Gaeilge for traditional singing in Irish, will perform renditions of the songs associated with James Joyce.
Jun
11
Sun
2:00 pm Bloomsday 2017 – Theatre at the ... @ James Joyce Tower
Bloomsday 2017 – Theatre at the ... @ James Joyce Tower
Jun 11 @ 2:00 pm
Bloomsday 2017 - Theatre at the Tower @ James Joyce Tower
Caitríona Ní Threasaigh who will perform her interpretation of Molly Bloom in the tower’s Round Room.
James Joyce Tower, Sandycove

James Joyce Tower, Sandycove

The Martello Tower on Sandycove Point is one of a series of fifteen similar towers built around Dublin in 1804 to counter the threat of an invasion by Napoleon. The design was based on that of a tower on Cape Mortella in Corsica which had resisted a British attack in 1794.

It is about forty feet high with walls eight feet thick. There was a single entrance ten feet above the ground which could only be approached by ladder. On top of the tower was a gun deck with a carriage on a swivel. Its eighteen pounder cannon had a range of about a mile.

In 1904 the tower was demilitarised and put up for rent at £8 a year by the War Department. The first tenant was Oliver St John Gogarty, a medical student and budding poet, who moved in in August and invited the twenty-two-year-old James Joyce to join him. Joyce was slow to take up the invitation and did not arrive at the tower until 9 September, by which time their friendship had cooled. They were joined by Samuel Chenevix Trench, an Oxford friend of Gogarty’s.

Joyce’s stay was brief. He was chased out of the tower on the night of 14 September and never returned. A month later he left Ireland for a literary career in Europe. The first chapter of his famous novel Ulysses. published in 1922, was set in the tower with characters based on himself and his companions and with the implication that he had paid the rent. As a result the tower became his monument despite the fact that Gogarty had been the tenant and had been visited here over the years by many celebrated Irish personalities.

The tower was bought in 1954 by the architect Michael Scott. With the help of a gift of money from the filmmaker John Huston, he and his friends set up the James Joyce Museum which was opened here on 16 June 1962 by Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of Ulysses. Over the years the museum collection has grown thanks to the generosity of many donors. In 1978 an exhibition hall was added to the building and a new entrance put in at ground level.