Here’s something we never noticed before. On the side entrance of The Bleeding Horse on Camden street there is a slab of stone that looks rather like a tomb stone laid flat. On it there is some engraving.
The stone reads
‘Two horsemen rode to the… Bleeding Horse
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Cock and the Anchor
Initially we thought that the pub had somehow taken it’s name from a book written by Le Fanu, but we soon learned that the pub is mentioned in a story by Le fanu. The story ‘The cock and the anchor’ was written in 1845. This should give you an idea of how long this pub has had it’s roots in the city. A sign outside the pub says since 1649.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of gothic tales and mystery novels. His work that mentions the Bleeding Horse was published in 3 volumes
The description of the pub in the book reads as follows
‘…there stood at the southern extremity of the city, near the point at which Camden Street now terminates, a small, old-fashioned building, something between an ale-house and an inn. It occupied the roadside by no means unpicturesquely; one gable jutted into the road, with a projecting window, which stood out from the building like a glass box held together by a massive frame of wood; and commanded by this projecting gable, and a few yards in retreat, but facing the road, was the inn door, over which hung a painted panel, representing a white horse, out of whose neck there spouted a crimson cascade, and underneath, in large letters, the traveller was informed that this was the genuine old ‘Bleeding Horse.’
It’s not every old Dublin pub that is described in literary terms as far back as 1845. For sure we have a decent amount of information regarding other pubs of a similar vintage, but they are usually from newspaper articles, title deeds, and census.
We can’t be sure when this commemorative slab was put in place. The present building was built in 1871 and the interior refurbished in 1992. If we were to guess, we would say that it was installed in 1992.
You can find the full text of the story via this link.