I'm travelling to the Republic of Ireland (via the UK) from Australia and wanted to visit a number of sites of scientific history.

One at the top of my list is William Rowan Hamilton. I'm aware there is a walk - where you can visit the spot where he thought of quaternions.

But can you visit his house, or his office, or a museum.

My question is: Are there any museums or sites in Ireland honouring William Rowan Hamilton?

  • Note that Ireland is not part of the UK, just being petty I know, but your question seems to imply that you think it's the same thing, given you mention you're travelling to the UK...?
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 2, 2017 at 6:22
  • Have you considered birth/burial place, or where he studied at Trinity college? Would things like that work? Eg where he lived.
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 2, 2017 at 6:34
  • Thanks @MarkMayo - that's helpful. Is there likely to be a display there including information on his life? Or is it just a building you go to and 'know' that here was there once.
    – hawkeye
    Apr 2, 2017 at 10:17
  • Hehe, you've updated UK to Britain but that's also not correct ;) Roughly, Britain is the big island (Wales, Scotland, England), and UK is that + Northern Ireland (plus Jersey and Guernsey). Ireland is a separate republic and not part of Britain or the UK at all :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 2, 2017 at 10:29
  • 2
    @MarkMayo The Channel Islands are not part of the UK. Apr 2, 2017 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


Some options for you to consider:

(source and more information)

The first time he came up with the formula for quaternions, he was crossing the Broome Bridge in Dublin, and scratched the formula in the stone.

To this day it's commemorated by a plaque on the north-west corner under the railing on the bridge. There's an annual commemorative walk over the bridge on October 16.

  • 1
    You should be sure that the asker knows about Broome Bridge because it's linked in the question! I suspect there's nothing for the tourist at the Hamilton Institute in Maynooth. As far as I can see, it has no connection with Hamilton except that it was named in his honour; Hamilton lived and worked in Dublin. It's very unlikely to be open to the public and there wouldn't be anything to see, anyway. The institute in TCD is also presumably not open to the public but it would be worth emailing them to ask if you can look inside. Apr 2, 2017 at 12:19
  • @DavidRicherby heh, I meant about the annual commemorative thing, but just realised that was in his single-word link too. Ah well, edited a bit. The source website was a fan site of Hamilton and he links to the center, and was included as I'd asked in a comment about where he worked. It's an interesting question - I've weirdly been reading a bit about Hamilton since, so might add more if I find it, but current that's about it :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 2, 2017 at 23:54

In the National University of Ireland in Galway, in the Aras de Brun building, you may find this stone panel:

Hamilton was here

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