Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Carpenter and builder, of Dublin, active from the 1790s until the 1820s. John Russell may be the preson of the same name who was admitted to the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture on 1 February 1787.(1)   He is listed in Wilson's Dublin Directory for over thirty years, always at addresses in the Gardiner Street/Mountjoy Square area. His name occurs several times in Bryan Bolger's papers:(2) in 1797 Bolger measured work by him and JOHN PRENDERGAST  JOHN PRENDERGAST for JOHN JOHNSTON  JOHN JOHNSTON at the newly-built No. 7 Belvedere Place, in about 1801 'sundry works' for Ambrose Moore at his New Buildings in Rhoebuck', and in 1804 works for a Mr Moran in Sackville Street.(3)     According to the recollections of his fellow tradesmen, writing in 1834,(4) Russell was in 'very extensive' business, employing thirty men, and was considered very wealthy at the time of the Act of Union.  He built 'a great part of Mountjoy Square - Russel Street Russel place &c' but then failed and 'died poor about 1820[?]'.  Russell, in fact, died on 19 June 1823 at his house in Russell Place. a death notice in the Freeman's Journal of 21 June noted that the 'elegant outlet which bears his name owes its origin and present spledid appearance to his enterprising spirit' and that 'few of his profession have contributed more to the improvement of this City'.

Addresses: Gardiner Street, 1792; Mountjoy Square, 1793-94; Gardiner's Place, 1795-96; 11 Gardiner's Place, 1797-1800; 11 Russell Place, Mountjoy Square, 1801-1823.


(1) MS. transcript from Royal Dublin Society minutes of School of Drawing in Architecture admissions and prizewinners (in IAA).
(2) Bryan Bolger Papers, NA PRO 1A 58 126 (Letter J, Box No. 15, Letter H, Box No.16).
(3) Probably Thomas Moran, club-house keeper, of 47 Sackville Street.
(4) Royal Irish Academy, Haliday MS 4B 31; this manuscript is a copy of a report presented to Daniel O'Connell in 1834 to support the argument for repealing the Act of Union by describing the catastrophic impact the Act had had on the tradesmen of Dublin.