Until the time of Queen Elizabeth, when Dublin Castle became the centre of English power, the Lord Lieutenants often held court at the manor of Kilmainham.
In 1559, the buildings at Kilmainham were damaged by a storm and court was temporarily held at the palace of St. Sepulchre. The following year Elizabeth I ordered that Dublin Castle should be upgraded to enable the Lord Lieutenant to reside there, and in an instant Kilmainham’s moment at the centre of power in Ireland had passed. The area is best known for Royal Hospital Kilmainham, constructed on the site where the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem had their priory in Dublin. It now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Nearby is Kilmainham Gaol, where the executions of the leaders of the Easter Rising took place.
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