Enniskerry Local History

Archives, notes and stories from the village

This website was created to compile information relating to the history of Enniskerry, Powerscourt and surrounding areas. The website began as a support site for the publication of a book “Enniskerry: A History” on the history of the village but evolved into being a substantial resource on many aspects of the village’s history from medieval until recent times -see a list of all posts on the website at the Table of Contents page. Many of the website posts were compiled into a second book “Enniskerry: Archives, Notes, & Stories from the Village“. There were subsequently some journals published, and a more recent book on education in Georgian Wicklow.



  • All in all an excellent concise history of Enniskerry Village, Co. Wicklow, and a title that no local historian should be without.Jim Scannell (Old Bray Society, Old Dublin Society, Local Historian)
  • The most impressive feature of this volume is the value which it attaches to the careful use of primary sources.Rosemary Raughter, (Greystones Archaeological & Historical Society, Historian)
  • It is a model of local history diligence and brio and commitment, and deserves to be widely read – and emulated.Robert O’Byrne, (The Irish Aesthete Website, Vice-President of the Irish Georgian Society)
  • A meticulously researched and well-presented work which traces the history of purpose-built schoolhouses in Wicklow up to around the middle of the nineteenth-century. Written by someone who has an obvious passion both for education and for local history, it is hard to believe that a book of this size could contain so much information. West Wicklow Bookshelf (Review of Education in Wicklow)


At the Town Clock

The website is maintained by Michael Seery. It is a voluntary effort, but a labour of love. I’m grateful to everyone who has contributed (compiled by the Shared History category).

The site is now closed but maintained online for archival purposes.

Thank you!

37 thoughts on “Enniskerry Local History

  1. Hi, I’m keenly interested in your book, as I have an ancestor, William Pender, who was born in the parish of Powerscourt in about 1781. He was in the British army (100th Reg’t and also Wallace Fencibles) and eventually settled in Canada. His wife’s name was Elizabeth Pepper. I’m hoping your book includes a few surnames of the area. If not, then I’m still looking forward to reading the history. Very glad you are on this project. Cheers, Amy Seyfried, Sacramento, California

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for the note. I do have a few names dotted throughout, but I don’t remember a Pender. You should post this information in the discussion board, someone might have an idea. I’ll keep an eye out for the name now that I know it.

  2. have just come across the site and find it very interesting.my father, Dan Seery, was born in Enniskerry in 1903, died in 1984. I assume you and I are related.
    Best of luck with the project. I hope to get to the launch on 30th april.

  3. Hi Dick,

    Yes, Dan was my grandfather’s (Richard) older brother by 6 years. Their father was Patrick, married to Mary nee Cassidy. Pat, Richard, Dan are common names in the family, going right back through the 19th century. See the Powerscourt Account Book’s for reference to Patrick’s father and uncle, Pat and Dan: https://enniskerryhistory.org/home/index.php/archives/393

    Great if you can come along, thanks for the comment.


    • Hi Michael,

      I was just looking back through these comments, and I think you may have made a mistake in your great grandmother’s maiden name. Her name was Mary nee Rourke, married to Patrick Seery. They were married in St. Mary’s Church, Enniskerry, on the 5th of October 1893. They had eight children; Pat, Bill, Joe, Dan, Jack, Jem, Lizzy (my mother) and Richard, your grandfather. Pat, Dan and Jack all lived in Dublin after they were married. Bill, Joe, Lizzy and Richard lived in Enniskerry. Jem moved to Bray, and had a son, Michael Seery.

      Betty Dodd

      • Thanks Betty!

        Well spotted, just checked again and yes Patrick Seery (baptised 1869) married Mary Rourke. Patrick’s father, also Patrick married Mary Cassidy. I have that they had five children: Mary (b. 1862), Daniel (b. 1864), Elizabeth (b. 1866), Patrick (b. 1869), and Aelonora (b. 1871). I couldn’t find a record for Patrick and Mary Cassidy’s wedding. Also, this comes with a health-check, as there are a lot of Patricks and Daniels, so I think I had to take an educated guess at one point in the tree!

        Thanks again – glad to hear there is a Michael Seery somewhere else…!

  4. Just finished the book last night Michael…what a gread read! Well done. I await Vol 2, so the journal is well timed.

    • Great – glad you liked it! Articles in journal are well worth a read – lots of interesting material and hidden gems.


    • Hi Aoife,

      Thanks for the comment and the link to the pictures. The Lewis Wingfield pictures are really great. This album (I think) and one other is available to view in the National photographic archive.

      I love the one of the avenue. It reminds me of something I read about the fact that Powerscourt church (beside the house) was closed during winter months, as the avenue was so dark. (You can really imagine that when you look at this photo!). Apparently Lady Powerscourt’s second husband at the time (whose name has just escaped me) offered to light up the avenue with lamps, but the rector was happy to leave the situation as it was, with winter services held in the village.

      Thanks again,

      • Hi Michael, I just came across the references to your book. My name is Gerard Seery (gerry) as is my fathers. He spent a lot of time as a boy on the Powerscourt estate. His father was Michael and came from Enniskerry and I believe connection goes back much further than that. I presume we are related ? Regards G

        • Hi Gerry,

          Thanks for comment. Delighted to hear there’s another Michael in the family line! I can normally only find Richards, Pats, and Daniels 🙂 I’ll send you an email, I have searched the Enniskerry Seerys back to early 1800s.


  5. Hi Michael,

    I called the people who published your book and they promptly mailed it to me. The price including air mail to Canada was very reasonable. I have finished reading it and found it contained so much history about the area that I was unaware of, and provided more information on subjects I had known about. I enjoyed reading it.

    Tommy Delaney.

    • Hi Tommy,

      Thanks so much, that’s really nice of you and the best kind of review I could ask for. Delighted there was something new (and something old!) in there for you. I’m always finding out more stuff and the website has been great to learn from lots from other people with expertise, like yourself.

      I’ll have to use your quote on the second edition cover 🙂

      Glad to hear the delivery was efficient. I’ve found The History Press to be really excellent.

      Thanks again!

  6. Hi Michael,

    You mention a map showing or mentioning the old road from Enniskerry to Glencree.
    Can you give me more information on this, where was it located and can you send me a picture of the map?


    William Driver

    • Hi William

      This map is the 1798 Arthur Neville map, I have reproduced the section in the book (Figure 3). There are originals that show the entire Wicklow County map held in TCD Map Library and National Library Manuscripts department.

      You might be interested in a talk Alfred Horner is giving for Kilmac History Society: “Early Mapping of the North Wicklow Area” Alfred Horner, UCD. Glenview Hotel, 8.30 pm Tues 1st November.

      Sorry for delay in replying,

  7. Just recieved your book & read it. Found out that my gg grandparents, John Corcoran and Mary Williams were from the Enniskerry area from researching on Ancerstoy. Though their names were not in you book, your book gave me an good idea of what they had to go through back then, and some insight of why they probably came to the America in 1851 with their young son, Hugh. Visiting Ireland in May and hope to see Enniskerry. Would love to find out more history about the town & area. Sincerely, Linda Corcoran Silverman from Central Valley in CA.

    • Hi Linda, If it’s any use I see two other children born to John Corcoran and Mary Williams in Enniskerry, John 1841 and Mary 1848.


  8. Monck, who was Governor General of Canada was my 2x great-grandfather on my father’s side. I am coming to Waterford for my nephew’s wedding in March 2013 and hope very much to come to Enniskerry and visit Charleville and meet with people who may know something of my forebears. ( My nephew is a 3x great-grandson of Lord Monck.) So if there is anyone who reads this can help me, please email me!


  9. Just come across this site and i have identified my mother, Kitty Doran (Married Tom Shortt of Newtown Mountkennedy) as the person first left, bottom row on the linked picture. I have seen another photograph taken about the same time at the clock tower when Lady Baden Powell visited Enniskerry. Date unknown. Love the website, interested in researching the history of the Doran’s (Andy Doran, champion ploughman of Ireland) Have interesting photograph of thatched cottage at Lovers Leap, Powerscourt circa 1945, where i was born.
    Please contact me:)
    Frank Shortt
    Wales Uk

    • Hi Frank,

      There is a book on the history of the Rathdown Ploughing Society. I don’t know if you have seen it, but it is crammed full of information and photographs. I got my copy in the Town Hall bookshop in Bray, which is a great place for local interest books. I had a look earlier and saw a picture of Andy Doran at a tractor. If you don’t have it I will take a photo and load it up. I found anote from the 1850s about setting up a Powerscourt Ploughing Society, which maybe was a fore-runner to the Rathdown Society. Monck at Charleville was a big supporter if I remember correctly.


  10. I am doing some research on Lady Carolina Nairne a Scot who who wrote and collected national ballads in the 1820s. There is a reference that “after her husband’s death in 1860 she took up her residence in Enniskerry but spent most of her time abroad. ” Can you throw any light on where she had a residence? Powerscourt staff have no information atall on her.

    Mae Leonard – Member Naas Local History Group

    • Hi Mae,

      I’ve heard Brian White, a local historian in Bray talk about her, so I will get in touch with him and see if he has any more information.


  11. Mile, mile maith agat. I really appreciate your assistance and I am confident you will turn up something.

    Slan is beannacht.

  12. hi Michael..I saw previous entry re Andy Doran and you mention a photo of him by a tractor, would it be possible to also send a copy to me by email. I am his granddaughter and dont have a pic of him. thanks a mill

  13. Hi Michael,
    I have just this moment stumbled across your wonderful web site and would just like to take this opportunity to thank yourself and Linda (Nivrum) for inadvertently providing me with some additional information about some of my kin. In the past I have attempted to investigate my family history (Towson) in Ireland and specifically around Enniskerry with mixed success! I know that my Great, Great Grandfather David Towson had a farmstead at Cloon from around about 1800 until about 1880. I really am guessing here as I can’t locate any records that confirm much, other than he rented land from the Powercourt Estate over the years. I do know that several of his children were born within the area and christened in the parish from about 1820 onwards. He had several sons. The eldest being Samuel, then David, Benjamin and John. There may have been others; Edward? Anne? But I can’t confirm this yet. My side of the family are descended from David c.1829-1902, his son David c.1874-1925 and my father Samuel 1914-1999.
    I am practically keen to establish any facts relating to my Great, Great Grandfather David Towson c. 1800-1875 and would welcome any knowledge anyone may have about him, his wife and family connections.
    Once again, many thanks and kind regards
    Jonathan Towson, near York, England.

  14. Hi Michel,

    Many thanks for the land valuation listings!

    It appears that my Great-Great Grandfather David was the brother of the Benjamin Towson who later died, widowing his wife Elizabeth.

    I noticed many names that my father told me were connected or associated with the family over the years in the listings

    I will keep a lookout for any new postings in the hope that I can find the birth, marriage and death records for David.

    I do have a photograph of my Great Grandfather David c.1829-1902 and his son David 1874-1925 if you would like copies. A little bit of imagination in the family names department would have been welcomed! There are five generations of Davids so far!

    Many thanks

    • Hi Jon,

      If you haven’t seen them in the library on microfilm, the National Library plan to digitise their parish records imminently. These are great, as they give the names of child/bridge and groom, father’s occupation, address, etc. It’s great for building up a network of familial relationships. Certainly in any family I have looked at, including my own, first names drew from a small pool.

      On this page, I list workmen on the Powerscourt estate, 1855. https://enniskerryhistory.org/home/index.php/archives/393 There are Townsells listed (which is what I made of the writing at the time), I will try to remember to have a look back on the sheet and see if Towson is a better fit.


    • I am looking for my Family in Ireland (Towson). My wife’s family actually. She is looking for 4x grandfather Thomas Towson. I am so curious that you have a old picture of a Towson. Any help would be appreciated. My wife’s name is Linda Towson Hester

  15. Findmypast.ie have just released the Dog License Registers for Enniskerry, lots of well known local names listed including Towson, also there are a good few Towsons mentioned in the Enniskerry Petty Sessions Court Registers.

  16. Searching around some distant family history I have the Army Records of Patrick Michael Byrne, born 1844/1845 at Powerscourt Enniskerry with Census Records in England of 1891, 1901 and 1911. He was with the 18th Regiment of Foot. Will mail them if they are of interest.

  17. I was wondering if anyone knows the history of the path on the south side of the Dargle across from Lovers’ Leap. The Historic 25 inch map marks it as “The Dargle Road” and it seems to go all the way from Charleville House as far as Dargle Bridge

  18. How wonderful to find you, I love the stories about Mrs Dixon barn. An incredible lady in her time. My Thomas and Margaret( nee TOOL) GEOGHEGAN were married in the barn, in 2019 I got to see the cross in the church that had been used in the barn for services. I am wondering if Powerscourt. have records of people renting land there. I am coming over in April – May. my daughter lives in Leitrim
    so we are trying to find “roots”. Thank You for your interesting way of finding out stories.
    Cheers Gail

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