Thomas Street is one of the oldest streets in Dublin. It was part of the western route to the old city of Dubh Linn, which means the Black Pool, now called Dublin.
In the late medieval period it was the site of the Abbey of St. Thomas the Martyr, hence its name.
The adjacent St. Catherines Church dates back to 1765, but there had been a church on the site since the 13th century. In 1803, the Irish Patriot, Robert Emmet, was executed by hanging on a gallows erected outside the Church.
The Glib Stream, which was a main water course for the old city, played an important part in the streets development.
This abundant suppy of water, coupled with the fact that grain would arrive from the countryside to the city via Thomas Street, has meant that, since medieval times, there has been an abundance of breweries and distilleries on the street, many of whom pre-dated the Guinness Brewery, at the adjoining St. James' Gate.
One traveller in 1610 commented that brewing was "the very marrow of the commonwealth of Dublin".
In 1740, the Anchor Brewery was set up on a 13 acre site on the adjoining Usher Street. For over 150 years this was the second biggest brewery in Dublin.
In 1757, Roe's distillery was established on the northwest end of the street, it included what is the biggest windmill ever erected in the British Isles. Unfortunately, it's sails were removed over 100 years ago. At a later stage this was incorporated into Guiness's property. It is now called St. Patricks Tower.
In 1759, Arthur Guinness began operating his brewery from No.1 Thomas Street.
In 1785, Powers Distillery was founded on the street. Today, what was Powers Distillery is occupied by the National College of Art and Design. The pot stills are still in place in the concourse of the College.
Millers Distillery was also situated on the street, and William Jameson had a distillery on the nearby Marrowbone Lane.
This premises, Arthurs, 28 Thomas Street, has been trading as a pub for over 200 years. It was rebuilt in the 1880's and retains its original shopfront and layout. It is a classic Dublin pub, old style, but well appointed.
Over the years it has been known as Hickeys, Ryans, The Robert Emmet and GF Handels.
It was closed for 7 years from 2004, but re-opened as "Arthurs" on March 17th 2011, St. Patricks Day.
It is the closest pub to the St James Gate, and the Guinness Storehouse. Naturally it has the freshest pint of Guinness in all of Ireland.