F. Erlington (Francis Elrington) Ball.

A history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century (Volume 3) online

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COUNTY ,r~7'H-



CO 17 N T r


W I C K L O \^








Beinsj- a History of that portion of the County comprised within

the Parishes of





Printed and Published hv Alex. Thom & Co. (Limited), Abbuv-st.



/> 3


To the readers who ha\c sliowii so ;^fiitifyiii^' an interest in flio
progress of my history there is (hie an apolo^^y Tor the tinu;
whieli has e]a|)se(l since, in the preface to the seroml pai't, a
ho[)e was ex[)rcsse(l that a further Jiistalnient wouhl scjoii
ap])eai-. l^lie postpononient of its pvil)lication has l)een caused
hy the exceptional dil'licuhy of ohtaiiiin;^' inl'orniat ion of liis-
torical interest as to tlie district of which it was j^roposed to
treat, and even now it is not witliout hesitation that tliis [)art
has heen sent to jiress.

Its pages will he found to deal with a poidion of the metro-
politan county in whitdi the population has heen at no time
great, and in whi(di resid( ncc^s of ini])ortanc(> have always heen
few\ Su(di annals of the district as exist relate in most cases
to some of the saddest passages in Irish history, and tell of
fire and sw^ord and of destruction and desolation. To invest
such scanty records with life would require a more skilful pen
than mine, and I can only conunit the pages which follow to
the forbearance of my readers as necessary to the com]iletion
of the history of the county as a whole.

Considerable material for the fourth part has been already
collected, and its publication may be expected next year.

It is again my pleasing duty to achnowdedge assistance
kindly and generously given. The Eoyal Society of Anti-
quaries of Ireland, in the pages of whose Journal some of the
information in this part has ah'eady appeared in a paper on
" Eathmichael and its Neighbourhood," and in the itineraries
for two excursions made by its members, has not ceased its

help and encouragement. The Council of the Eoyal Irish

A 2



Academy has given its permission in this, as in tlie previous
parts, for the reproduction of drawings in its possession. The
Deputy Keeper of the Records, Mr. James Mills, and Mr.
C. Litton Falkiner have read the proof sheets and Jiavc cjnce
more given me the benefit of their historical knowledge; Mr.
Thomas J. Westropp has lent me the aid of his pen and pencil
in describing the little known objects of archaeological interest
in the district ; Dr. P. W. Joyce has supplied me with the
derivation of ])lace names ; Mr. Tenison Groves and the Eev.
William Eeynell have continued to furnish me with transcripts
of ancient documents and references to authorities ; and
amongst others who have aided me m this part 1 nuist especially
mention the INIost Eev. Dr. Donnelly, Bishop of Canea, IMr.
M. J. M'P^nery, Mr. G. D. Biu-tchaell, Eev. P. Dineen, Mr.
E. Clarke, Mrs. Knox, and Mr. W. H. Eobinson.

The records in Ulster's Office have been placed at my service
by the kimlness of Sir Arthur Vicars, and research has been
made pleasant in Trinity College I^ibrary by Mr. Alfred de
Burgh ; in the National Library by INEr. T. W. Lyster ; and in
the Eoyal Irish Academy by Mr. J. J. INPSweeney. To the
officials in the British Museum and Bodleian Libraries
my thanks are also due. The Controller of His Majesty's
Stationery Office has permitted me to make use of the
Ordnance Map for the purposes of the frontispiece, and the
Idock's from which some of the illustrations have been produced
have been lent me by the Council of the Eoyal Society of
Antiquaries of Ireland.



December, 1904.


Parish of Tallaqht .

The Village of Tall

Jobstown, .


Newlands, .






Old Bawn,

The Tallaglit Hills,

Ecclesiastical Histo






Parish ok Cbuagh :

Killakee and its neighbourhood,
Ecclesiastical History,


Parish op Wuitechurch:

Marlay and the Whitechurch neighbourhood,
Ecclesiastical History,


Parish of Kilgobbin :

Kilgobbin and its Castle,
Ecclesiastical History,


Parish of Kiltiernan :

Kiltiernan and Glencullen,
Ecclesiastical History,




Parish of Rathmichael :

Shankill and Shanganagli, . . . . .79

Ecclesiastical History, . . . . .90

Parish of Old Connaught :

Little Bray and its neighbourhood, . . .98

Ecclesiastical History, . . . . .108

Parish of Saggart :

Tiie Vilhige of Saggart and its neighbourhood, . . Ill

Ecclesiastical History, . . . .116

Parish of Rathcoole :

The V^illage of Rathcoole and its neighbourhood, . .118

Ecclesiastical History, . . . . .125

Parish of Newcastle :

Newcastle Lyons, . . . . . .127

Ecclesiastical History, ..... 136

Index, . . . . . . . ,140


The ))afislu's iiicliKlcd in this pail of the history foi-m the
southern holder of the ]iietroj)()litaii county. Tlioy are situated
ill the haroiiies of Katlidow n, U]:»pei'cross, and Newcastle, and
are hoiiiuh'd to the east by the sea, to the soutli and west by
the Counties of Wicklow and Kildare, and to tlie north by the
jiarishes of KilMiu'V, Tully, Taney, Kathfarnliam, Crumlin,
J)rnnna^h, Clondalkin, Ivilbnde, and Kihuaetaiway. Witliin
their limits lies the ran^^'e of hills known as the 1)ii1)Imi
mountains, and owin.i;' to their situation they difler in their
circumstances from the parishes already treated <jf in this
history. A ("reat extent of the lands which they contain is
unprolilable or oi little value, in the remainder, insteatl of a
vast increase of population, thc^-e has been a dimimitinn in
tlie number of the inhabitants, and, instead of advancing
prosperity, a loss of importance in the villages and country

When our history opens this district, then portion of the
country of the people of Cualann, was held in much veneration
and was chosen as the bui'ial ])lace of tdiiefs and warriors whose
deeds were connnemorated by the cromlechs, cairns and pillar
stones which are still to be found in exceptional numb(M's in
the niiblin mountains. Later, under the Celtic ('hui'cdi, sacred
edifices began to be built and monastic establishments, like
that of Tallaght, were founded. The Scandinavian imasions
with their devastating effects next ensued, and left their traces
on a large tract in the south-eastern portion of the district,
which became the possession of Scaiulinavian proprietors
known as the sons of Thorkil.


Then came the Anglo-Norman Conquest with its far-reaching
settlement. It fonnd the district under the rule of a Celtic
chief called jMacGilliiniochuliiiog, to wliojii and wliose descend-
ants some portion of the lands was left for a time, hut with
this comparatively unimportant exception the district was then
divided between the Crown, the Archbishop of Dublin as repre-
senting the Church, and an Anglo-Norman magnate, Walter
de liideleford, whose castle at Bray — for more than a century
the principal dwelling to the south of Didilin — bespoke his

At first the lands divided into nuincjrs were worked after
the custom of England by the owners, by free tenants, and
servile occupiers, and notwithstanding difference of race com-
parative concord reigned amongst the inhabitants. But before
long the Irish tribes rebelled and the days of the Pale began.
Then the castle of Tallaght was erected as a house of defence,
and the villages of Saggart, Bathcoole aiul Newcastle were
enclosed with walls and fortified ; and afterwards castles
were built at Tymon, at Belgard, at Shanganagh, at Shankill,
and in many other places. The opening of the seventeenth
century saw these castles converted into country residences,
and houses like Old Bawn, in which comfort was more con-
sulted, designed.

The rebellion of 1641, and the ensuing disturbances greatly
affected the district and left terrible traces ; but a hundred
years later the parisiies under review had recovered in some
measure from its eflVct and attained to prosperity which in
the course of the last century has continuously waned. Espe-
cially was this the case in Tallaght, where the Archbishop of
Dublin's palace, the spa nnd residence of the Domvile family
at Templeogue, and various shooting lodges in the mountains
contributed to the welfare of the inhabitants.


The authorities whose titles have been condensed, and the places of preservation
of tho nianuscripts referred to. arc as follows: —

Journal R. S. A. I. refers (o the Journals of the Kilkenny Archaeological
Society, of the Historieal and Archseological Society of Ireland, and of the Royal
Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, followin'/ the consecutive numbering of the

Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey refers to " Chartularics of St. Mary's .\bbey,
Dublin," edited by Sir John (Jilbert in the Rolls Series.

Fiants refers to the Calendars of Fiants in tiie Ttii to tlie •22n<\ Reports of the
Deputy Keeper of the Records in Ireland.

Christ Church Deeds refers to the Calendar of Christ Church Deeds in the 20111
to the 26th Reports of the Deputy Keeper of the Records in Ireland.

Patent Rolls refers to *' Rotulorum Patentium et Clausorum Cancellarine
HibernisB Calendarium," vol. i., part i.

Chancery Inquisitions refers to "Inquisitionum in Officio Rotulorum Cancel-
lariaj Hibernirc Asservartum Repertorium," vol. i., under ("o. D\il)lin.

Fleetwood's Survey refers to " A Survey of the Half Barony of Rathdown,"
made by order of Lord Deputy Fleetwood ; printed in Lodge's " Desiderata
Curiosa Hibernica," vol. ii., p. 529.

Archbishop Bulkeley's Report refers to " A Rejjort on the Diocese of Dublin,"
by Archbishop Bulkeley, printed in T/ic Irish Ecclesiastical Record, vol. v., ])p.

Sweetman's Calendar refers to " Calendar of J^ocuments relating to Ireland,
1171-1307," edited by H. S. Sweetman in the Record Publications.

Liber Xiger refers to a copy of the Register of Archbishop Alan, commonly
called the Liber Niger, made by Bishop Reeves, and preserved in the Library of
Trinity College, Dublin.

The Down Survey Maps, Hearth-Money and Subsidy Rolls, Rolls of Innocents,
Exchequer Inquisitions, Regal Visitation of 161."), Religious Returns, \\'ills.
Grants, Justiciary, Plea and Memoranda Rolls, Crown Rentals, Survey of Upper
Cross and Newcastle, List of Transjilanted Irish, and the Tallaght and Rathcoole
Parish Registers are preserved in the Public Record Office of Ireland.

Cooper's Note Book refers to MSS. of Austin ''ooper, f.s.a., in the possession
of Mr. Mark B. Cooper.

The Depositions of 1641 are preserved in Trinity College Library, Dublin.

The Census of 1659 is preserved in the Royal Irish Academy.

The Carte Papers are preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Parish of Tallaght

(i.e., 'I'liiiiih'v'ichl, or lltr Pluyac MuuainarU.)


Tlio Parisli of 'ralla.L;lit appi-ars in tlio soveiit(!C'titIi cciitiiry as containing tlio
townlands of Fiiar.stowii, 15alIinascorney, 'ronipleogiie, Killinarden, Jobstown,
Whitestown, Belgard, Cookstown, Tallaght, Knocklyon, Oldcourt, Kil-
linimiy, Olilliawii, KiKalown, Cmljallis, Newliall, Newlands, Gibbons,
Carranstown, Cdassainiicky, Tyiiion, I'.rittas, Aghfarrell, and Kiltianianagh.

It now contains the townlands of Aglifarrcll {i.e., Farrell's field), Allagoiir {i.e.
the clilT of the goat), JJallinascorney {i.e., the town of the gorge) Lower and
Upper, iJallycragh {i.e., the town of the preys), J5allycnllen {i.e., Cullen's-
town), Ballyniaicc {i.e., ths town of the hill), Hallymana {i.e., the niiddlo
town), Ballyniorefinn {i.e., Finn's great town), Ballyroan {i.e.. Rowan's town),
Belgard, Belgard Deerpark, Bohernabreena {i.e., the road of the court),
Brittas {i.e., the speckled lands) Big and Little, Castlckelly, Cookstown,
Corbally (i.e., the odd town), Corragoen {i.e., the little rock), Cimard {i.e.,
the high head ?), Friarstown Lower and Upper, Garranstown {i.e., the town
of the horses) or Kingswood, Gibbons (i.e., the town of Gibbon), Glassamucky
{i.e., the stream of the swineherd), Glassamucky Brakes and Mountain,
Glassavullaun {i.e., the stream of the little summit), (Jortium {i.e., tiie bare
field), Jobstown, Killinardan {i.e., the church of the little height), Killininny
((".(•., the church of the daughters), Kilnamanagh {i.e., the church of the monks),
Kiltalown {i.e., the church of the elm woods), Kiltipper {i.e., the church
of the well), Knocklyon {i.e., Leinster hill), Lxigmore {i.e., the great hollow),
Mountpelier, Mountseskin {i.e., the bog of the marsh), Newland's Demesne,
Oldbawn {i.e., the old cattle enclosure), Oldcourt, Piperstown, Tallaght,
Templcogue {i.e., St. Malog's or Molagga's house), Tymon (derived
from Erachtomothan or the O'Mothans' inheritance) North and South,
Whitehall, Whitestown.

The mountains anil hills in the parish are : — .Moun'. pelier ; Slievenabawnoge, or
the mountain of the lea ; the hill of Ballyniorefinn, or Finn's great town ;
Slievebane, or (he white mountain ; the mountain of Glassavullami, or the
stream of tiie little summit ; Kippure, or the trunk of the yew tree ; the Black
hill: Seegiiane, or the scat; Carrig (('.('., the rock); and Bryan's hill.

Amongst objects of archaeological interest dating from primeval times there are
in the townland of Ballinascorney a rath called Raheendhu, or the black
fort, and two stone circles enclosing the remains of a cromlech called the
cairn of the second rock or the red hero ?; in the townland of Ballymana a
place of sepulture called Knotkanvinidee, or the rennet hill '.' ; in the town,
laml of ^loiintseskin a place of .sepulture called Knoekannavea, or the
ravens' hill, and a mound called the bakinghouse hill ; and in the townland
of Glassamucky a place of sepulture called Knockantcedan, or the little hill



of the blasts or gusts ; while in the townland of Castlckelly there are a number
of sepulchral mounds including three known respectively as Meave's hill, the
hill of the rowan tree, and the red hill, as well as a cromlech and some
stone circles ; and on the hill called Seeghane, or the scat, there are a cairn
and two cromlechs.

Amongst the wells in the parish are the following : — St. Paul's well, in tlie town-
land of Kiltalown ; Mohng's well or the Piper's well in the townland of
Corbally ; the Fairy well, near Tymon Castle ; the Lime Kiln well at Bal-
rothery ; the Chapel well, on the brink of the Dodder near Tallaght village ;
and St. Columkille's well in the townland of Oldcourt.

Other objects of antiquarian interest are the belfry of the Church, a font in the
churchyard, a tower near the Dominican Monastery, and a seventeenth
century house called Old Bawn (').


The village of Tallaght lies about seven miles to the south-west
of the City of Dublin on the high road, now traversed by a steam
tramway, from the metropolis to the town of Blessington in the
County Wicklow, and forms the centre of the largest joarish in the
County Dublin. This parish, which bears the same name as the
village, extends from the parish of Rathfarnham to the boundary
of the County Wicklow, and embraces a considerable extent of
mountainous country. In this portion of the parish the River
Dodder has its source. It flows down to the low lands through
the valley of Glenasmole, or the glen of the thrushes, where the
township of Rathmines now draws from the river its water supply ;
and, passing not far from the village of Tallaght, takes its course
through the parishes of Rathfarnham and Donnybrook to the sea.

The village, which is still recollected as the site of the country
house of the Archbishops of Dublin, although nearly a century
has elapsed since they ceased to reside there, has been dominated
in turn by a Celtic monastery, by a mediaeval castle, by an
eighteenth century house called the Palace of Tallaght, and by a
monastery belonging to the Dominican Order which is the chief
feature of the place in the i^resent day. Of the mediaeval buildings

(1) Further information as to the antiquities of Tallaght Parish will be found
in letters written by Mr. Eugene O'Curry in connection with the original Ordnance
Survey which are preserved in the Royal Irish Academy, and in " The History
and Antif|uities of Tallaght," by Williani Domville Handcock (■2nd edition,
Dublin, 18'JU).


the only relic is a small rectangular tower which stands in tlie
grounds of the modern monastery. Near this tower tliere is a
walnut tree of most remarkable size, which must be the growth
of many centuries, and in its vicinity there have been found such
relics of the past as old coins, a papal seal, a font, and a stone cross.
In addition to' the tower near the monastciy there is at the cnti'ance
to the village, coming from Dublin, tiie base of a small fortified
dwelling known as Bancroft's Castle ; and Mr. Eugene O'Curry,
when making an e.xamiualion of the district for the Ordnance
Survey, discovered on a stream which Hows by tlie village an
ancient mill so small as to be only capable of grinding four barrels
of wheat in twenty-four lii)iirs(').

The name Tallaglit means the plague grave, and from numerous
jolaces of sepulture which have been found within the parish it is
evident that the neighbourhood was extensively used in pre-historic
times as a burial place. Tallaglit is spoken of by a Celtic writer
as one of the chief cemeteries of ancient Erin, and the origin of
the name has been attributed to the interment there of a number
of the descendants of the first colonists of Ireland. These colonists
are said to have come not long after the Flood to the Irish shores
from Migdonia, in Greece, under the leadership of a hero called
Partholon, and their descendants, who according to tradition were
carried off a few centuries later by plague in one week, are stated
to have numbered nine thousand {-).

In the eighth century of the Christian dispensation, or about
350 years after the time of St. Patrick, Tallaglit became the site
of a Celtic monastery which was founded by an Irish saint called
Maelruain. This monastery consisted, doubtless, like other religious
establishments of the time, of some small round huts grouped
round a primitive church and enclosed by a high bank. But so
great was its influence in the year 811 that the monks, as a protest
against some infringement of their privileges, were able to prevent
the celebration of a national assembly at Teltown in the County
Meath. During the two succeeding centuries, notwithstanding
the periods of anarchy resulting from the Danish invasions, the

(' ) See Ordnance Survey Letters in Royal Irish Academy, pp. 57-62, 71 ; and
for description of Bancroft's Castle. "The Lesser Castles of the Count v Duhliti,"'
by E. R. M'C. Dix, in The Irish liaildir for 1898, p. 157-

{'^) "Annals of the Four Masters," under .\.m. 2 8-20 ; Keating's "History ot
Irclard," edited hy John O'Mahony. p. 114; O'Curry's "Manners and Customs
of the Ancient Irish," vol. iii., \i. 52.'i,

B 2


monastery maintained its importance, and it is not until the
beginning oi the twelfth century that the deaths of its chief
membero cease to be recorded (i).

To this monastery Cellach son of Dunchadh, a chief of the same
line as the founder of St. Mary's Abbey, mentioned in the history
of Monkstown, gave the lands surrounding the village of
Tallaght as an offering " to God and St. Michael and St. Maelruain
in perpetual freedom." After the Anglo-Norman conquest these
lands were confirmed by King John to the Church. They were
granted by that monarch to the Archbishop of Du]:)lin, and in the
thirteenth century Tallaght gave name to one of the manors into
which his estate was divided. This manor was farmed after the
custom of that time, in part by the Archbishop himself, in j^art
by tenants known as free tenants who paid their rent in money,
and in part by tenants known as betaghs who discharged their
obligations partly by money and partly by work done for the
Archbishop on the lands retained in his own hands. It was then
one of the least valuable of the Archbishop's manors, the chief being
Swords on the northern, and Ballymore Eustace on the southern
side of Dublin, and the buildings at Tallaght, which were in charge
o^ a bailiff, were small and unimportant. In an account rendered
during a vacancy in the See of Dublin from 1271 to 1277 it is
stated that the receipts included rent from freeholders, betaghs,
householders and cottagers, and profit from demesne, meadow and
pasture land, from the work of the betaghs and cottagers and from
tribute beer and hens given in lieu of rent (-). Only one tenant,
Thomas de Monte Alto, is mentioned by name. Although in these
accounts there is no mention of its existence the monastery seems
to have still survived. About that time we find letters of protection
granted for Brother Simon, Abbot of Tallaght, and later on the
title of Abbot is sometimes applied to Richard White, whose family,
then the most important in the district, has left its name impressed
en a townland in the vicinity of Tallaght village (3).

Although many of the free tenants, as well as all the betaghs and
cottagers were natives of this country, a state of comparative
concord existed for a considerable time after the Anglo-Norman

(') "Annals of the Four Masters," under a.d. ?()!• and 811; "Annals of
Ulster," under a.d. 811.

(a) Gilbert's " History of Dublin." vol. i., p. 404 ; Liber Ni^er, p. -JliO ; Pro-
ceedirif/s of Roi/al Irish Academy, vol. v., pp. H.l-ltVJ.

(■') Sweetnian's Calendar, r252-l-284, p. 5()1 ; l-J85-121)-_'. p. ISS ; 12(13-1301,
pp. 205, 281.


invasion between tlie original inhabitants and the new settlers;
l)ut in the latter ])art (jf the thirteenth ceiitni'y, as lias been already
mentioned, tlie Irish tribes, the O'Byrnes and O'Tooles, who had
retreated to the mountains, began to make serious incursions on
lands situated like tlinso of Tallaght, and were joined in their
forays Ijv many (jf llieir lowhiiul brethren. Before the year 127G
the Manor of TaUaght had in consequence decreased in value
more than a tliird, and in that year, when an attempt was made
to subdue tlie enemy by sending an army to Glendalough, John
de Alta Ripa, with three armed horsemen and the bailiff and posse
of Clondalkin, then a walled town, were necessary to keep the peace
in the Tallaght neighbourhood (i).

The fourteenth century is remarkable in the history of Tallagiit
for the erection uf the Castle which for three centuries afforded a
country residence for the Archbishops of Dublin. In an engraving
which is here reproduced, executed long after its demolition, the

The Castle of Tallaght.

Fviil/I till' ciif/riiriiiij I'.rcClltcil Jnr Wllliiliit Mdiirk Mkuiii.

Castle is represented as an edifice of great magnificence, but the
pile of l)uildings depicted by the artist was probably the result of
his imagination (-). Contemporary records tend to show that the

(i) Proccrdinqs of the Jioyal Irish Academy, vol. v., ]). in-2; Pipe 15011. 5
Edw. I., No. 0.'

(-)This cngravin<i was executed for William ]\lonek ]\Iason, the learneil aiithor
of the " History of St. Patrick's Cathedral." for a i)ro.iecte(l history of Christ
Church Cathedral. See Journal, R.S.A.I., vol. .x., ]). 89. The proof engraving
is in the Doniiiiican ^Monastery at Tallairht. and a reproduction of it appears in
Archbishop iloian's edition of Archdall's " Monasticon Hibernicum."


importance of the Castle was due more to its superiority over
other buildings as a house of defence than to its fitness for
episcopal occupation. It originated in the state of continuous

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Online LibraryF. Erlington (Francis Elrington) BallA history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 14)