The oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the World

The Rotunda Hospital is located on Parnell Street in Dublin City. It is the oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the World. It is also estimated that over 300,000 babies were born here and the first cesarean section in Ireland was performed here in 1889. It was originally known as ‘The Dublin Lying-In Hospital’ and was founded by Bartholomew Mosse in 1745. Mosse, a surgeon, and man-midwife was appalled at the conditions that pregnant mothers had to endure at this time. The first hospital was located in George’s Lane and later moved here in 1757. The beautiful design of the main building was undertaken by probably the greatest architect to work in Ireland during the 18th century, Richard Cassels. Cassels was responsible for designing some of Ireland’s great houses including Leinster House, Russborough House, Westport House, and Powerscourt House. The hospital, because it was a charitable institution, had several public function rooms in which fundraising activities were held. One of these areas was the large rotunda (to the right of the building), after which the hospital is now named. This is now part of the Gate Theatre. The Rotunda is both a maternity hospital and a training hospital affiliated with Trinity College in Dublin.