Arnott's

In Brief

In Lestrygonians Bloom thinks of a time "Ten years ago: ninetyfour" when there was "the big fire at Arnott's." Arnott's is the largest and oldest department store in Dublin. It sits on Henry Street, north of the river Liffey and west of O'Connell (Sackville) Street, just behind the General Post Office.

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The department store was founded in 1843 by George Cannock and Andrew White and renamed Arnott's in 1865 after John Arnott, who had bought an ownership stake in 1848. About the disastrous fire in 1894, Gifford quotes from Thom's Directory: "On 4 May 1894 'the block of buildings owned by the firm of Arnott & Co. (Ltd.) which extends from Henry st. to Prince's st., [was] totally destroyed by fire' (Thom's 1904, p. 2105). The business was quickly rebuilt, and the drawing to the right gives some sense of its scale and grandeur at the time of the novel.

JH 2013
Drawing of Arnott's department store on Henry Street, ca 1902. Source: www.census.nationalarchives.ie.