The Pearse Museum is located in Rathfarnham in the former home and school of Patrick Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Rising. Originally built in the 18th century, the museum building is surrounded by fifty acres of beautiful parkland. In 1910 Pearse moved out to Rathfarnham, bringing his school, Scoil Éanna, with him. He was an innovative and progressive educator, and the school played a significant role in the Gaelic Revival. It was also from this house that Pearse and his brother, William, left to fight in the 1916 Rising, never to return.
Senator Margaret Pearse bequeathed the house and its contents to the state in 1968 to be used as a memorial to both her brothers. The museum opened in 1979 and has recently undergone major renovations. Its collection consists of documents, furniture, books, artworks and other objects related to the life of Patrick Pearse and his family. The permanent exhibition principally consists of reconstructions of the rooms where Pearse lived and worked. Visitors can thus encounter objects from the collection in their original context. They can also get a sense of what life was like for the pupils of Pearse’s school as they wander around the boys’ dormitory, school museum, school art gallery and chapel. There is a dedicated exhibition of sculptural work by William Pearse, as well as an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions.