Oscar Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row in 1854. All the houses along that side of Westland Row are now owned by Trinity College, and although the facades of the buildings are currently undergoing restoration there have been structural alterations inside to adapt the buildings for academic use. These houses are linked at the rear with the Hamilton Building and Biotechnology Institute by an attractively designed enclosed street.
The Provost and the Board of Trinity College have supported the concept that the internal structure of 21 Westland Row should be preserved and refurbished in 1850s period style to commemorate the achievements of Oscar Wilde who was one of the university's most famous students. It is also envisaged that the house should celebrate the lives of Oscar's parents who played a key role in the intellectual life of Ireland in the last century.
21 Westland Row is a terraced house and part of a large development which would appear to date from the 1830s and 1840s. The plan is a standard plan, found in terraced houses from the 1750s to the 1850s. The ground floor level consists of an entrance hall, staircase hall and two reception rooms. The front reception room was normally the office or work room and the dining room was normally to the back. Somewhat unusual in this case is the presence of large interconnecting doors between the front and back room. At first floor level there are two reception rooms with interconnecting doors and in this instance the front room would have served as the drawingroom, while the back room would have been the family sittingroom. The house is 21'6" wide and 35'6" deep, and it contains a basement and four floors above.