One of the earliest writings on placenames by the indefatigable Liam Price, historian, scholar and Wicklow judge, was his work on transcribing the Hearth Money Rolls of County Wicklow, which he published in 1931.* Price was a district justice in County Wicklow from the 1920s until the 1950s. His interest in history and antiquities apparently led him to take detours on his way to and from local court sessions to places of interest, where he would record the antiquities, placenames and folklore he found. His transcription of the Hearth Money Rolls were completed from a copy provided to him “through the kindness of Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole, Litt.D., formerly of Dunganstown Castle, Co. Wicklow“, which themselves were copied out by Henry Monck Mason. The original rolls were dated 1668, and list the names of the parishes, and townlands within the County. Unfortunately, “Mr. Mason did not copy out the names of the householders except in the case of a house containing more than one hearth” and so the number of names are more limited than they might otherwise be. It does however, provide a lot of information on the names of townlands and number of significant houses therein. Householders were taxed two shillings for every hearth they owned.
The table below lists the details for the parish of Powerscourt, half barony of Rathdown as transcribed by Price, along with his notes. Placenames and people’s names are left as found. The first column lists houses with one hearth and a chimney, the second lists houses with one hearth and no chimney, and the third lists houses with more than one hearth, and the name of the head of the house. It is likely therefore that the latter are significant houses in each townland.
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* Price’s article was published in The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1931, Vol. 1, No.2, pp. 164-178.