The Red Earl's Hall is the archeological remains of the oldest building in Galway City. Built in the 1200s, it is linked to the De Burgo family, who built and controlled the city until the 15th century.
The remains of the original de Burgo Hall were uncovered in 1997 when work began on a proposed extension to The Custom House. The hall was originally a church like structure with large, round headed windows and opposing entrances in its south-eastern end. In essence, it acted as medieval equivalent of a tax-office, courthouse and town-hall rolled into one.
It is thought the hall was probably abandoned towards the end of the 15th century when the 14 ‘tribe’ families of Galway usurped the De Burgo’s influence over the town. The hall was reported to be in a ruinous state by the middle of the 16th century while the famous 1651 map of Galway certainly shows it as that.
Galway Civic Trust has presented the Hall to the public since moving to its new offices in 2009.