EPIC is located in CHQ in one of Dublin’s most historic and influential locations by the banks of the river Liffey. Dublin’s Docklands have been a constant hive of activity dating back to Viking times. Today the docks continue to thrive, not only as a commercial and business district, but also as a cultural and entertainment destination. Stack A or the Tobacco Store, as CHQ was formerly known by dockers and merchants, was built between 1817 and 1820 to store valuable cargos of tobacco, tea and spirits. Designed by the Scottish engineer John Rennie and his son of the same name working as his principal assistant, this industrial masterpiece had the largest pre-20th century clear floor space in Dublin City.
The new Custom House and its’ quay, designed by architect James Gandon was completed in 1791 only a short distance from The chq Building.
Dublin has had a Custom House since 1621. By the 18th century, a new Custom House was deemed necessary as merchant ships were having difficulty navigating the rocky bed and tidal waters of the western Liffey to access the crowded wharfs of the of Custom House, which stood on the current Clarence Hotel site at Wellington Quay.
It is apt that EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is situated on Custom House Quay, as this was the departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants from the 1800s onwards. Many of those who left Ireland from this point would have travelled by ship to Britain.
The Famine Memorial and the Jeanie Johnston are located here in Dublin’s docklands, a stark reminder of the impact the Famine had on Ireland and its inhabitants. The sculptures of the Famine Memorial poignantly depict the fleeing victims of the Great Famine (1845-1852). The Jeanie Johnston, a replica of the tall ship which made 16 journeys to America from 1847 to 1855, is also located on Custom House Quay.