The Oldest Pub On The Island Of Ireland: Welcome To Athlone’s Ancient (And Cosy) Sean’s Bar

There's also a chance that it's the oldest in the world!

“Hold on a minute, pal – the Brazen Head in Dublin is the oldest pub in Ireland?!”

I thought the same until a few years ago, so lets clear that up first.

The Brazen Head in Dublin dates back to 1198, while Sean’s Bar in Athlone dates back to 900AD.

Looks like there could only possibly be one clear winner here, right?!

Well, if you visit the Brazen Head’s website, you’d be quick to believe that they’re Ireland’s oldest pub, as they’re claiming to be left, right and center.

“So… how do we know which is actually Ireland’s oldest pub?”??

seans bar athlone
Photo via Sean’s Bar

Sean’s Bar had been awarded a certificate by the Guinness Book of Records, stating them to be the oldest bar in Ireland.

You’d be fairly confident that the lads who dish out these awards do their homework first.

Welcome to Sean’s Bar – the Oldest Pub in Ireland

the oldest pub in ireland
Photo via Sean’s Bar

It’s crazy to think that for over 1000 years a pub smack bang in the middle of Ireland has been catering to the needs of weary travelers and locals alike.

You’ll find Sean’s Bar a short stroll from the River Shannon, and a stone’s throw from the castle in Athlone Town.

The pub dates back to 900AD, a fact that was verified during an excavation in 1970 that exposed walls consisting of ancient wattle and daub, dating back to the 9th century.

While one of the original walls that was discovered during the excavation remains on show in Sean’s, the rest, along with coins that were also discovered at the time, now sit inside Dublin’s National History Museum.

oldest pub in ireland
Photo via Sean’s Bar

Interestingly, there are records of every owner of the pub from the 10th century until present, including the singer Boy George who owned it for a stint in the 80’s.

Here – have an aul look inside

Our verdict

Go for the atmosphere and history.

Stay for drinks by the roaring fire, the ancient artifacts that cover the walls, and the immense character that’s abundant throughout Ireland’s oldest pub.

“Wait – what’s all this about the Oldest Pub in the World?”

Apparently, research into whether or not Sean’s Bar is the oldest pub in the world is ongoing.

A bit of a search online shows that it’s listed on a tonne of websites as the world’s longest-running bar – but nothing’s official.

Imagine a pub in Ireland being able to lay claim to the title of the oldest in the world?!

Mad stuff.

And that's a wrap!
Have you visited Sean’s Bar? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Keith
Howaya!The purpose of this site is to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories.No spam. Clickbait. Or boll*x. Ever.Keith

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