Enniskerry Victorian Festival runs again this year on Sept 15th, and details of the event are at the Festival homepage. A couple of years ago I made a newspaper highlighting some news that might have been reported during Victorian times. You can read it all about it, below.
Enniskerry & Powerscourt Gazette | Sept 1861
More Delay For New Church
As the row over the spire of the new Church at Powerscourt gate continues, the parishioners of Powerscourt may have to wait sometime yet before they can permanently worship there. Given the darkness of Powerscourt avenue, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners granted a licence for evening worship, but day and Sunday services must continue at the old Church next to the house.
A recent exchange between the Commissioners and Viscount Powerscourt’s mother, Marchioness Londonderry prompted an angry letter from Henry Sandys, agent, asking the Commissioners to withdraw their unreasonable demand that her Ladyship be responsible for the guaranteeing of all work to be done for ten years if the slate spire is retained.
The delay is all the more apparent given the completion and consecration of the Roman Catholic church at Knocksink, whose site was approved after Powerscourt’s own church. The material in the spire is one in a long list of problems for the new Church, beset from the beginning by problems of cost, and disagreement with the nature of the design.
The original plans, heralded by an accompanying picture in the Illustrated London News have been much reduced and the architect has withdrawn from being associated with the project in protest of the insistance of copper being used.
Lord Powerscourt, through his agent, is attempting to expedite the process, as he is keen for the parishioners to be able to worship in their new building, as well as to close the existing Church and graveyard beside the house to give more tranquillity to that place’s setting, which can be quite noisy and cause great disturbance after worship hours and during funerals.
New Plans for Bray to Enniskerry Railway On Track
Railway mania is set to arrive to the village again with reports that there are moves afoot to begin plans for a new railway to Enniskerry. Those disappointed with the last plans for a railway from Dublin in 1846 will be pleased to hear that supporters, including Lord Powerscourt himself, are quite confident that the plans for a new Bray to Enniskerry line have much hope of successful passage through Parliament.
A person close to the proceedings informed this paper that the Enniskerry terminus will be adjacent to the schoolhouse in the village, and follow the new road along the Cookstown river. It is hoped that the coming of the railway will greatly increase the number of Tourists coming to the village as well as reduce the cost of coal and other goods for businesses.
But Mr. Shirley the cab driver said he did not see a day when the railway would be built as the costs were too high and could not be recuperated from the numbers that visit the village, in his experience.
Preliminary Results from Census of Ireland
The CENSUS OF IRELAND is just completed and some preliminary results have been reported to Parliament on foot of the work completed by Messrs. Donnelly and Wilde. The population, having been counted on 7th April this year has again substantially reduced over the decade. In our fair county of Wicklow, the population of the county has reduced by 11% through emigration alone, 5,800 men and boys, 5,300 women and girls. The Census indicates that there are 381 persons in the Village and 1904 persons in the rural parts of the parish, a total of 2,285 souls. The numbers in the rural parts have reduced dramatically since the last count.
As a result in the decline in the population, the quality of the houses of the parish has improved. The number of peasants in fourth-class housing has very much reduced to almost nil.
This was the first Census to record the Religion of the people. There were 597 persons affiliated with the Established Church and 1,673 affiliated with the Roman Catholic church, and a small number with other churches.
It is expected that this Census will subsequently report on other details such as the employment of the People, the population of townlands and the education of all classes. This most effective and impressive Census yet taken in these Isles is sure to yield lots to converse about for long to come.
Reports from the School-houses at Curtlestown, Enniskerry, &c
The National Board of Education’s school at Curtlestown continues to do well. Latest figures from the Inspectors at the Board indicate that there are now 56 boys and 64 girls in attendance with some 55 boys attending an evening school. The evening school, so long desired to educate the young boys who spend their days working as labourers and turf-cutters, promises to be a great success in achieving the said goal. The schoolmaster Mr. John Byrne recently retired after 24 years service to the school and the new master, Mr. Michael Cunningham, was appointed in July of this year. He is reported as being attentive, competent and wholly efficient in his manner of conduct and it is expected that the school numbers will continue to increase. Miss Dowling continues as workmistress.
Lord Powerscourt’s school at Enniskerry continues under the care of Mr. John Cranston. His Lordship is known to have conversed with Rev’d McDonagh on the possibility of the school being taken into connexion with the Board of Education, but a decision on the matter does not appeared to have been made at this stage. It is considered among those close to the discussion that Mr Cranston is opposed to the suggestion.
At Annacrivey, the school is Doing Well but the reduced numbers of children in the surrounding areas have reduced the numbers in attendance.
The decision on whether to establish a new school at Enniskerry for the Roman Catholic children is still no closer. The situation is considered by all concerned as unacceptable, but no resolution seems apparent.
Petty Session Reports from the Court House at Enniskerry
Patrick Doyle, Enniskerry, charged by Matthew Foley with maliciously breaking a window of the complainant’s house. Sir George Hodson, Bart, presiding fined Doyle 5s, this being his second offence and cautioned him against appearing again in the court.
Const. Joseph Richards, with witnesses Col. Edward Kenny and John Keogh Williams, charged James Townsend and associate Falkner with unlawfully and wilfully breaking down part of a wall on the side of the Public Road at Ballyornan, 16th June, it being the property of Col. Kenny. Lord Monck, presiding, ordered that each pay 10s with costs or spend two weeks in gaol.
Bridget Kenna, with witness Esther Lamb, charged Mary Gormley with assault, occurring at Kilmacanogue. The defendant was ordered to pay 2s 6d being costs with 1s fine.
Const. Richards charged Edward Sutton with being drunk and disorderly at Enniskerry on 19th inst. The defendant was ordered to pay 2s costs and 1s fine.
Another case from Const. Richards was that of John Hyland, Dublin, also charged with being drunk at Enniskerry, resulting in a similar fine.
Neither Daniel Kavanagh nor James Morrison, both charged with trespass appeared. The case was deferred to the next session.
Const. Richards charged several members of the public for allowing their animals to trespass on the Public Road, among these being William Hicks, Kilmolin, for his two pigs and George Long, for his ass. Usual fine (1s) and cost.
Sub-const. Thomas Winkles charged Edward Kearney and John Windsor for hurling on the road at Monastery. Both men charged 1s fine and 1s costs by Sir George Hodson Bart, J. P.
Thomas Halpin charged Julia Reilly, Killegar, of stealing a quantity of turnips from his lands at Monastery. The defendant was imprisoned for fourteen days.
Thomas Quinn charged Mary Flynn, Jane Flynn and Michael Byrne, accused of cutting and carrying away two young trees the property of Visct. Monck on lands of Newtown. The case was dismissed.
Presentation to Rev’d Mc Donagh
A great evening’s entertainment was had at the behest of Mr. Lewis Wingfield, Esq., brother of Lord Powerscourt. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a beautiful album of albumen print photographs, which feature several vistas from the Estate of Powerscourt and Village of Enniskerry. The generous bearer of this beautiful gift is a known supporter of the arts and himself a keen practitioner of photography. He wished to capture these scenes and present them to his friend.
The album included the inscription in gold lettering on the front cover which read:
Powerscourt Immortalized by Lewis Wingfield, 1863
Inside is signed the note: ‘Rev. Charles MacDonogh from this sincere friend L. Wingfield’. The album was generously shared for others at the occasion to view, and included several familiar scenes. Those from the estate itself included Powerscourt House and Waterfall as well as the densely planted tree-lined avenue. The Gothic folly at Luggala and a pretty vista of the village at Enniskerry also featured.
Reverend McDonagh thanked his friend for the beautiful gift which he promised to guard with custodial care granted to him by the generous benefactor, preserving it for future parishioners, so that they may share in the beauty of Lord Powerscourt’s estate and his good friend’s taste. He welcomed parishioners to view the Album at leisure at the Cottage.
Concerns Raised at Glencree Reformatory
The report from the Inspector of Reformatory Schools is due to be presented to Parliament, after he visited the School recently. While the efforts of the school manager, Reverend Mr. Lynch and his colleagues are commended, it is felt that they are operating in extremely difficult circumstances. On the day of his visit, the Inspector recorded 239 boys under detention. Some were employed at various trades; shoe-making, cabinet making, and tailoring, the rest working on reclaiming the adjoining land. A new dormitory is complete, which the inspector would have preferred to have been arranged in compartments.
The state of the buildings is very unsound with no heating system available. The quality of the land, leased with the reformatory from Lord Powerscourt, is very poor and will require much work to improve so as to be useful for cultivation. The inspector intends to make several recommendations, most importantly that the numbers do not increase and offers support to the manager in his efforts. It is hoped that the cost of coal supply for the reformatory will be much lower in future with the coming of the railway to Enniskerry.
The Orphan Refuge
The cause of this valuable society which now maintains 186 orphans of mixed marriages, will be pleaded this month by the Reverend F. F. Carmichael, in Powerscourt, Enniskerry.
A New Bridge
The village is soon to be provided with a new bridge, with a possibility of a second in consideration. The iron bridge adjacent to the Powerscourt Arms Hotel is to be removed and replaced by a stone bridge. Plans by Mr Brett, Co. Surveyor are for a single-arch span and show handsome balustrades on either side which should make for a pretty entrance way into our village.
There is talk of replacing the bridge at the new road at Knocksink – plans from Mr Louch, estate architect could be resurrected to build a bridge at this difficult site, high above the narrow river gorge below.
Lord Powerscourt himself is said to be involved with the new bridge at Enniskerry, providing the cost of erection. The plans include a new hotel at the bridge. Mr Buckley, proprietor at the Powerscourt Arms Hotel told this reporter that he had not enough business for two hotels in the village, and this would be nothing more than a folly to excessive development.
Agricultural News and Matters of Importance
The ANNUAL FAIR was held last Tuesday, and was considered fairly by many in attendance to be the best the local Agricultural Society has held since its inception fourteen years ago. The horses and cattle were of first-class quality and the pigs, poultry, butter, &c could not be excelled. A large dinner in which one-hundred and fifty patrons were seated was enjoyed by all.
The monthly fair day was held at Enniskerry with a moderate supply of stock. The prices on the day were comparatively low given a low number of buyers.
Some discussions are being held over the use of flax to a greater extent. A scutching mill can be purchased for £100 and in Wicklow, mountainous areas can be used to cultivate flax without displacing other crops. Reports on the growth and subsequent profit of flax will be reported to Society members to see if it is a useful measure to proceed with.
Right of Way Dispute Continues
The CONTINUING SAGA of the right of way at Enniskerry may be brought to some conclusion. At the Court of Queen’s Bench, before Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, there was an application on behalf of Mrs. Crooke, for an exceptional order for a certiorari, directed to the Justices of the Peace of the county of Wicklow, under the following circumstances: –
In 1857 the applicant’s husband became tenant of Lord Powerscourt of lands near Cookstown. Previous to this tenancy there had existed an ancient pathway along one side of a field in the occupation of applicant, which pathway was improperly closed. In consequence she and her husband made a new pathway along the other side of the field. In the end of 1857, her husband being dead, she took a lease of the premises and brought an action against the person who closed up the ancient pathway. She effected an opening of it, and stopped up the new one. Lord Powerscourt objected to her doing so, on the ground that the way was dedicated to the public. She would not re-open the new pathway; and she was summoned before the magistrates at Enniskerry for having wilfully and illegally erected a wall upon part of his property and for interfering with the public right of way.
The magistrates fined the defendant 1s for obstructing the right of way. She did not remove the trespass and was summoned again, at the suit of Lord Powerscourt, when the magistrates notwithstanding her protest on the ground that a question of title was involved, fined her £2. In regard to the obstruction of the right of way, the case was referred into the Queen’s Bench. Mrs. Crooke claims that her lease, issued in 1860 by Lord Powerscourt’s agent, makes clear her grounds for defence. The Court gave counsel the option of taking a conditional order for a certiorari.
Latest details of numbers are as follows: 322 present last board-day. Admitted since: 71. Born: 1. Discharged: 85. Died: 3. Remaining 306. The following were the numbers in the house, chargeable to electoral districts: Bray 85; Blackrock 14; Dundrum 4; Delgany 6, Glencullen 10; Kingstown 45; Killiney 10; Powerscourt 8; Rathmichael 12; Stillorgan 11.
Lord Powerscourt has arrived back at his Wicklow seat having travelled in India engaged on a hunting expedition. The Chief Secretary, The Right Hon. E Cardwell and Mrs Cardwell arrived in Kingstown and proceeded to Lord Monck’s residence at Charleville where they will be staying. The Right Hon. Mr Justice Keogh, Mrs. Keogh and family have left Bushy Park for Scotland.
Notices, Situations, &c. in the Locality
HOUSEMAID or Thorough Servant in a small family where the washing is given out – A respectable girl (20), desires a situation as above. Willing and obliging and will be well recommended. Address EM, Post Office Enniskerry.
WANTED immediately Three Good Milk Goats; are between 2 and 3. Apply by letter stating price &c to A. B., Post Office, Enniskerry.
COACHMAN of long experience; understands his business in all its branches; married with no incumbrance: wife could take charge of lodge; both can be well recommended. Address E. B. C., Enniskerry Post Office.
ASSISTANT to the General Drapery business Wanted by a young Person who has considerable experience a situation as above. Please address AB, Post Office, Enniskerry.
SCHOOLMASTER wanted for Glencree Reformatory a well qualified (Certified) Schoolmaster; liberal salary. Apply by letter to the Manager, Glencree, Enniskerry, enclosing testimonials, &c.
Linen, Hoisery, Haberdashery J. & C. Leckie GROCERY, & PROVISION STORE, Enniskerry Drugs, Oils, and Colours *New Spools in Stock*
McCullagh & McCullagh MUSIC SELLERS & PUBLISHERS Suppliers to Schools and Important Private Clients at Enniskerry 108 Grafton St and 22 Suffolk St, DUBLIN Strangers hiring Pianofortes, a reference is respectfully requested – Removals and Tunings to be paid for when order is left.
BOOTS & SHOES Michael Wogan respectfully calls attention to his stock of boots and shoes at his shop in Enniskerry Repairs neatly and promptly executed Well-trained apprentices
Hydropathic & General Medical Establishment Open for Patients & Visitors Russian Baths on the premises: Low Temperature; Shampooing Dispensed With. E. Haughton MD MRSCE AB TCD &c Glenbrook, Enniskerry
Bray and Enniskerry OMNIBUS Departs daily on arrival of following trains from Dublin: 8 am 10 am 12 noon 8 pm & return from Enniskerry 8.15 am 10.15 am 12.15 am 8.15 pm Fare 6d. each Robert Darlington, Enniskerry
Notice to Subscribers of this Eminent & Respectable Gazette
The Gazette is meant for informative purposes only. Some tongue in cheek is required.
Details of sources:
Page 1: Church Plans: Picture is from Illustrated London News. Railway Plans drawn from “The Bray to Enniskerry Railway”, by Liam Clare. Omnibus and Hydropathic baths advertisements adapted from Irish Times (with thanks to Úna Wogan for sourcing); Michael Wogan advertisement is fictional. Wogan was a bootmaker in the village at this time. Advertisement is based on one that appears for Wynne’s Boot and Shoe Emporium, Grafton St. June 1859;
Page 2: Census reports drawn from Parliamentary report on 1861 census. McCullagh advertisement based on receipt at Powerscourt school. Reports from school-houses are drawn from Board of Education reports or manuscript data; the section regarding Annacrivey is fictitional as there is no known data until 1886. Petty Session Reports are taken from the National Archives of Ireland; many of these are transcribed and available at: www.enniskerryhistory.org.
Page 3: Presentation to Reverend McDonagh, is a fictional account based around the existence of an album in National Library of Ireland, probably 1863, with an inscription from Wingfield to McDonagh. Bridge: report in Dublin Builder magazine describing the actual construction in 1865, along with plans for hotel. Buckley’s response is fictional, but I can’t imagine he would have been too pleased. Glencree Reformatory details are from annual reports of Inspectorate. The advertisement for The Orphan Refuge appeared in the Irish Times in October 1861. Leckies were a grocery store and advertisement draws from an 1846 receipt from there in the National Library of Ireland. Notices consists of advertisements that have appeared in The Irish Times, throughout the 1870s.
Page 4: Agricultural matters: The annual fair is fictitious, based on an account of a fair in Carlow at this time. The report on the Fair day at Enniskerry is adapted from the Irish Times, as is the report on the growth of flax. The land dispute is taken from The Irish Times and a reference to a lease to Crooke in the Powerscourt Papers, National Library of Ireland. Fashionable Intelligence is derived from Irish Times reports of the period. Rathdown figures were reported in the Irish Times 1861.
Written by Michael Seery, 2011.