Ten Things You Might Not Know About Trinity College Dublin 8 years ago

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Trinity College Dublin

Established in 1592, Trinity College Dublin was modelled on the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge and is Ireland’s oldest university. Trinity is one of the most respected colleges internationally but over the years, it has been keeping a few secrets. Here are ten facts you might never have known about one of Ireland’s most famous colleges...

1. Trinity was first set up outside the walls of Dublin


Trinity College Dublin, when it was first established, was actually set up outside the original walls of Dublin. Hard to believe now as it is the very centre of the city.

2. The Library stores a copy of every book printed in UK and Ireland

Trinity Library is a legal deposit library, meaning the college is entitled to one copy of every book that is published in the UK and in Ireland. The Library now contains around 5 million books, but doesn’t store this on college grounds. Most of the library stores are in Santry in a place fondly known to students as “stacks.”

3. The Book of Kells is free to view for students

If you are a student of Trinity, you do not have to pay to view the Book of Kells. One up on the millions of tourists who visit the tourist attraction annually.

4. The Latin Grace is said "before and after meat" at Commons.


Still a tradition in Trinity, Commons is attended by Scholars and Fellows and Sizars of the College, as well other members of the College community and their guests.  A three-course meal served in the College Dining Hall Monday to Friday.

5. Very superstitious...

The more superstitious students of the college never walk underneath the Campanile at the front of Trinity College, as the tradition says that should the bell ring when they pass under it, they will fail their annual exams.

6. Lots of famous people attended Trinity

Artist J.B. Yeats, broadcaster Ray D’Arcy, former President Mary Robinson, author Bram Stoker, poet Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, have all walked Trinity’s hallowed halls.


7. Students can demand a glass of wine during the exam. 

Pretty sure you might not receive it, but it’s still a rule all the same.

8. Bring me my sword!


It is illegal for a student to walk through Trinity College without a sword. Unfortunately, it seems this rule has never really been enforced.

 9. You can shoot someone and kill them from the top of the bell tower in Trinity on a particular day of the year and not be charged with murder.

There are a lot of variants of this one. Apparently, if they’re Catholic, it’s ok for a Protestant to kill them. And we're not sure which day it is...


 10. Holders of the freedom of Dublin have the right to pasture sheep on common ground...

This is acceptable if they are within the city boundaries and includes College Green, where Trinity stands, and St Stephen's Green. Bono has apparently invoked the right to pasture sheep before, although not sure if that is just another rumour.