Some unusual photographs of Enniskerry

Some more unusual images of Enniskerry have come our way in the last fortnight from contributor Nivrum. The first is a view from St Mary’s Church which shows clearly the old National School (where the library is now situated), the bridge over the river, the cottages at the bottom of Kilgarran Hill and St Patrick’s on the hill. It is a really amazing image.

From the church


The second image is a postcard sent 100 years ago. While it’s a more familiar scene, the date mark is fantastic. It is interesting to trace the developments along Church Hill. St Patrick’s dominates the scene – it really illustrates the fantastic positioning of this church before the trees and subsequent housing shielded it from view. 58213_380174608746244_1795422616_n


This final one is another postcard, found on the County Wicklow Heritage Site (well worth checking out). According to them, the message says:

This is where we went for a drive one day and the jarvie let us drive his horse and he (the man) sang for us and we sang for him.  It is great fun here where we are staying and there are other two boys and one girl in the boarding house with us. 

Love from Joseph & Maureen.

Bray Road

A road that never was?

One of my favourite maps I have come across is one drawn to mark out an alternative route from the village to Kilmalin avoiding the steep incline of Kilgarran Hill. I have drawn a representation of this map, and while it lacks the elegance of the original, it does indicate how much information it contains.

Map of Village 21f163

Map of Present and Proposed Roads from Enniskerry to the Cross Roads at Kilmolin

The existing road (yellow) passes through the village and proceeds up the hill, by the hospital (which became the estate office) before hitting the steep incline of Kilgarran. The new road (pink) aimed to avoid this steep incline by departing the road just after the hospital and following a direction that would today lead us behind the GAA pitch, across Maguire’s fields and up to the junction at Kilmalin. The map is rich in information regarding this area, showing houses and lands occupied by Mr Magee, Mrs Dixon, Tim Quigley, Edward Ward, and significant holdings by John Buckley. It rejoins the existing road at Kilmalin at a point marked “Old Hospital – Thomas Bassett”.

Why was the road never built? Accompanying the original map (and not shown here) are the ‘sections’ – a height profile of both roads, and it’s fair to say horses of the time (and school children of future generations) would have had a much easier climb from the village to Kilgarran and Kilmalin. Perhaps part of it was built – the alignment roughly follows what is now the back avenue to Kilgarran House. But I don’t think it goes any further. My guess is that the proposal never got off the ground because it coincided with the death and subsequent minority of 6th Viscount Powerscourt in 1823. Or perhaps the tenants on the affected land weren’t too keen. Whatever the reason, it is a really fascinating part of local history.

The village detail is shown below. Note that there is no Bray road, no Knocksink road, no Town Clock… One of the small buildings on the North side of the river, opposite what is now the Bog Meadow, (bottom of map) is probably the old infant school house.


Detail of Enniskerry Village

Brassington & Gale Valuation of Powerscourt 1853: Tenant Names (Archive Month #18)

In 1853, during the minority of the 7th Viscount Powerscourt, the firm Brassington and Gale (Bachelor’s Walk) were requested to carry out a valuation of all property on the Estate, to assist the Guardians of the estate in deciding on rents that should be charged for land. They produced a ledger of incredible detail, which is now in the National Library of Ireland (MS 2740) that lists all of the townlands in the Wicklow estate (Enniskerry and Castlemacadam), the tenants in each of the holdings in these townlands, their area and their value.

Below, I have reproduced some of this—namely the townlands, their total acreage and value, and the tenants names given in each. There is a return for each holding, so in many cases a tenant’s name will appear more than once. For each holding, the original lists several sub-sections—e.g. arable fields, rocky land, boggy land and their component values and areas—this isn’t reproduced. Therefore the list below should be read as all of the holdings within a townland, bearing in mind that their value was comprised of several sub-sections. Also, some holdings have joint tenants—I would imagine that these are usually related in some way.

Of course, there were many more tenants than are listed here—I suppose they sub-let land from the listed tenants. I am really just listing these names as a genealogical resource, so hope it is of some interest. There does seem to have been a map to accompany this report, but I haven’t seen it yet (I’m not even sure if it still exists). I have occasionally recorded details of note, usually any significant buildings that were noted or anything that was occupied directly by the estate (!In hand”). Unfortunately, details in the village were scant – buildings were only listed as dwellings, sub-divided by whether they had slated or thatched roof. Businesses or types of buildings, with some rare exceptions, were not indicated.

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Maps from Powerscourt Papers in National Library of Ireland (Archive Month #3)

The National Library of Ireland has an important set of manuscripts relating to Powerscourt and Enniskerry in its Powerscourt Papers collection. There is a general index to the collection, which is available online (Collection List 124 PDF file). Having looked at many of the maps, some more detail from notes made are provided below. As well as being beautiful visual images from the past, these maps often provide detail of where people lived, their names and neighbours names, new plans, etc. I have tried to include any of these details below.

Some really useful information on using manuscript maps in local history is provided by Jacinta Prunty in her book “Maps and Map-Making in Local History” – see the website library for details.

21F 163/22

Map and sections of present and proposed roads from Enniskerry to crossroads at Kilmolin. No other details except Scale: 16 statute perches to an inch.

An absolutely beautiful map showing plans for a road which plans to avoid Kilgarran Hill, by veering right past hospital (Estate Office) and runs along Kilgarran townland through Kilmolin and meeting present road at junction with Glencullen. Enniskerry village shown in detail. Rationale appears to be to avoid steep incline at Kilgarran. Incline is given as 1 in 6 1/2 at steepest on current road and 1 in 17 for proposed road. No date, but town clock is not marked and village schoolhouse present (although not marked). (Some more detail and context for this map given in the book).


  • Reference to Mr Magee’s House – is this Kilgarran House?; it includes a lodge.
  • Tim Quigley and John Buckley named as ?occupiers? south and north of new road in Kilgarran.
  • Mrs Dixon north of Buckley
  • John Buckley and his house and Edward Ward’s House marked
  • Miller’s Hotel marked in village.
  • “Old Hospital – Thomas Basset” marked at proposed junction at end of Kilmolin.

21F 163/43

A map of part of the old roads and new intended road leading from the old road at the upper end of Glencree by Lough Bray to the Road of Shramamuck and Adowne, by Michael Currin. Date: April 1799. Scale: 320 perches/1 mile to an inch.

Details of a new road between Enniskerry and Glencree, which is 4 miles, 19 perches (1299 perches) long. Map shows proposed road from Glencree to ?Sally Gap? at Liffeyhead. It was commissioned by Viscount Powerscourt. There is little local Enniskerry detail; Powerscourt, Charleville and Tinnehinch are marked; roads to Bray by Cookstown and by Kilcroney marked. Hard to say if it is old/new Enniskerry to Glencree road, but probably old road as it ends up below L. Bray. Of interest, given the date, as it precedes the military road.

21F 163/46

Map of part of Ballyman in the Co. of Dublin and Barony of Rathdown – part of the estate of Lord Powerscourt, by Michael Currin, Surveyor, 1792. 5 perches to 1″.

Map shows road from Dargle to Old Connaught, including the walled garden of Mr Mason – “11 1/2 perches plantation measure” – surrounding land to north is James Pluck’s (?) holding.

21F 163/47

Map of part of the land of Lackendarragh 1846 June now in possession of Mr Francis Buckley, no other details.

Map shows holdings either side of road to Enniskerry including holding of Buckley (36 acres 1 rood 9 perches), divided into “Hill” and “Arable”, and the neighbours holdings; on the east side: Thomas Gilbert, bound along the south by a river running west-east; neighbour on the west side: Mrs Mary Keegan. “Plantation” is marked along the northern edge.

21F 163/48

Cookstown. No other details.

Map shows an area of 12-2-20 which looks similar to what was Summerhill in Cookstown. The name associated with it is hard to read – possibly Mr. Z Lord. The holding is marked in detail, including an outline of the house, vegetable garden, pasture, meadow, yard, garden. There appears to be two driveways meeting at a central circle.

21F 163/60

A map of Ballynagee, 1759, Chas Maguire, 40 perches to 1″.

Map showing “Fine arable and pasture” land divided into two lots, one being 102-1-19 and the second being 41-1-5. On the south side is Deerpark to the west and Long Hill due south. Coolikeagh is marked to the east. Along the west is Bahana, marked as “Deacon’s part of Bahana” at the north end and “Booth’s part of Bahana” to the south end. Onagh is marked on the north edge.

21F 163/63

A map of Cuttlestown in the manor of Powerscourt… the holding of Edward Mooney and Partners for Mr Anthony Burton, 1795, Michael Currin.

Map showing a plot of 78 acres on the west side of a road north of Cuttlestown. At the north-east end, Cuttlestown Hill is marked, Annacrevy is due east, along with the name “Mr Wingfield Burton” and to the south east, Cuttlestown, with the name Mr Anthony Burton. On the west side, Barnamire is to the west and south west, to the west the name Mr George Burton is appended, and to the north west is the “Land of Clune”, with the name Mr Gregg Hicks. A short section of road is marked here on the north west corner.

21F 163/64, 65

Design for a new bridge and proposed line of road from near entrance gate to Powerscourt Waterfall leading towards Bahana, 1834.

Architect’s plan for bridge at Waterfall entrance by Henry Thomas Provis (?), Sandymount, Dublin. Bridge is 18ft wide and 60 ft long. Map #65 shows the road plan. Some more details on this in context are in the book.

21F 163/67

Design for two new bridges, July 1847.

“Bridge near waterfall and “Bridge on double stream on upper part of new road”, by John Louch architects (the estate architect). More details on this in the book.

21F 163/68

A map of the lands of Monastery let to the Rev’d Mr McGhee, 1834, 10 perches to 1″.

Map shows Enniskerry bridge and Monastery road and possible village road and Kilgarran Hill. A barley field and pasture are marked on map. An addition, added in 1843 says the land was let to Ben Buckley at £2 per acre. (See this article for more on our friend Mr McGhee).

21F 163/16

A map of gardens at Enniskerry formerly under lease to the Miss Tooles (1850s?) 2 1/2 perches to 1 inch. A component, possibly the Garda barracks and Rosemount, is not included in the lots.

Map shows new road (Forge road) and “street” (Church Hill). Several plots are marked, one belonging to Mrs Shirly. the Courthouse is on the northeastern corner.


No title. A map showing the New Military Road, surveyed by William Duncan, 1802.

The land marked for the new barracks at Glencree has lease value of £3 17s 6 3/4. Map shows Aurora Hutts (sic). A road to Dublin is shown. Map is interesting in the context of Military road history.


No title, but a map of the road from Bray to Enniskerry, running along the Dargle at Cookstown, 1821.

Has several plot numbers and refers to “Powerscourt Estate Grand Map”. Several houses are marked, but only name shown in Widow Clements. The 21 bends road  is obviously not present, but Widow Clements’ land aligns with where this would be, on the Enniskerry side of the Big Tree. “Enniskerry River” marked. Plot numbers are 51, 113, 58, 118, 108, 107, 111, 109. The area is 5-3-9, and an amount is shown, perhaps rental income of £28 19s 9d.


Map concerns lands south of Tinnehinch towards Sugarloaf and west to Giltspur, 1839. Scale 40 perches to 1 inch

Map shows lands divided between Powerscourt, Rathdowne and Sir George Frederick Hodson (1370 acres). Shows entrance to Charleville (house not marked), Tinnehinch bridge marked and  Ballyorney road. Six houses marked along Ballyorney road.


No title. Map showing two plots along “street of Enniskerry to Dublin”, evidently along Church Hill. No date.

Plots are on the west side of street and are labelled “No. 1 The Garden” and “No. 2 The House”. On the south side is marked “Mrs Toole’s holding”, on the west side is “Mrs Toole’s at will” and on the north side “Mr J Buckley”. The house is 63 feet in front. An amount of £23 p.a. is marked, as is the text “Kilgarran containing by survey nine perches of the late plantation measure to the same ——-”


No title. A map showing a parcel of land between Monastery and the Parknasillog, by Chas Maguire, 1759.Scale: 40 perches to 1 inch.

Two pieces of land in a plot: (1) Fine arable and pasture (145-0-16) and (2) Coarse ditto (18-2-16). Bounded on the north east (or at least top right) by “Folliot Patrickson, part on Monastery”, on the east by “Road from Powerscourt to Dublin , with William Harrick’s part of Monastery on the other side of the road, on the south west by Kilgarren, on the west by the river and Parknasillog and on the north west by Killegar.


No title. Townland of Barnamire.

A map showing a plot in Barnamire surrounded by Glancree, Lackendara, Knockbawn, Curtlestown. No names of features marked.

Missing Maps

Unfortunately, several maps are marked as missing. Their titles suggest tantalising detail. They include:

  • 21F 160/13 – Map of church plot near Enniskerry, 1860, by Brassington and Gale. 50 ft to 1 inch.
  • 21f 160/14 – Map of part of Coookstown in the County of Wicklow, laid out in villa lots, 8 perches to one inch.
  • 21F 163/15 – Holding of late Mrs Dickson at Enniskerry, 2 perches to one inch.
  • 21F 163/16 – Lands at Toneygarrow in lots.
  • 21F 163/18 – Map of Rev T O’Dwyer’s holding in Enniskerry, church plot included. 100′ to 1″.
  • 21F 163/110 – Mrs Crooke’s right of way, 8 perches to one inch.
  • 21F 163/111 – Mrs Murray’s Demesne, 1873, 5 perches to one inch.

Postscript: The National Library are introducing a digital search facility for its Longfield Index (an index of many maps) which will have images incorporated. I can’t remember off hand if there were any maps of our area included, but it will be a useful resource nonetheless.


About Archive Month


House Book for Town of Enniskerry 1840 (Archive Month #2)

NAI 5.3573 30 Jan 1840: Houses in Town of Enniskerry

Many of us are familiar with the wonderful Griffith Valuation records available online. The valuation of Ireland has a complicated heritage, but gathered pace as a result of the enactment of the Poor Law in Ireland in 1838, with a view to establishing a uniform valuation of land across the country for taxation purposes. The Primary Valuation is now online and searchable by name and place. The House Books (and Field Books) relate to the preparation of the Primary Valuation and can provide additional detail on a locality, by giving occupiers’ names, size of buildings and additional comments.  They are on microfilm in the National Archives of Ireland.

The House Books for the “Town of Enniskerry”, detailing notes made by surveyors, are recorded below. The book is dated January 1840, but lines crossed out may refer to subsequent amendments These were distinguished by colour and can be traced using the Valuation Office original documents in the Irish Life Mall – an expensive exercise – but it does yield information on the transfer of ownership of land over a long period of time.

Notes for Town of Enniskerry in the townlands in which it lies:

1. Townland of Cookstown, 19th December

Number on Map: 16 [10 (4 then 11 crossed out)]

School for Boys and Girls

House (53 x 20), Teacher’s dwelling (17 x 18), “more of same, more and sheds, office and privy”

Quality 1B+

Observation: With 16 perches of a yard and garden. Patron Lord Powerscourt, all people able pay from 3 to 4 (s?) per quarter each child, but a good many are taught free. Note added in pencil – 15 payable out of 45.

Number on map: 9 (5 then 10 crossed out)

Doctor Rufsel

Dwelling 37.5 x 22

Quality 1B+

Observation: With a large yard and 30 perches of a garden. Leased at £40 yearly

Number on Map 2 [ 7 (8 crossed out)]

Doctor Geeson Mrs Caroline Geeson

Includes dwelling 44.6 x 24. Quality 1A+

Observation: The late Dr Geeson expended two thousand pounds in building this house and offices it is leased at ground level.

2. Townland of Kilgarron

Number on map – 8 [22 (15 crossed out)]



Number on Map – 5

House for temporary Worship – Rev Robt Daly 43 x 23

More of house – 17 x 13

Number on Map – 4 a, b , c, d, e, f

Dwellings 13.6 x 19.6 – given free by Lord Powerscourt to a widow (quality usually 1B+)

Names: Mrs Stack (crossed out) = c, Mrs Boyle = a, Mrs Dennis = c, Mrs Margaret Smyth = d, Mrs Brigid McHugh = e, Mrs Margaret Dempsey = f. B and C subsequently annotated vacant.

Number on Map – 2

Hospital consisting of House (53.6 x 21.6 (Quality 1B+)), returns, basement and privy, no observations.

3. Townland of Knocksink

Number on map – 3 Captain Cranfield

House (33 x 18 – 1B+) and others –

Observation – £85 yearly is paid for this house and four Irish acres of land – see sheet 7 the house is furnished by herself

Number on map not legible (Mr John Barrington – name crossed out). is the name replaced by Messrs Millers? – very difficult to see pencil.

Observation – This is the hotel and was built by the father in law of Mr Barrington and pays only ground rent.

Hearth Money Rolls, Powerscourt, 1668

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.

The Depositions of 1641

The recent digitisation project of the 1641 depositions by Trinity College Dublin library allow text search of these documents. This allows us to probe these documents and find anything related to Enniskerry. According to the 1641 website, the depositions were recorded by the “Commission for the Despoiled Subject” and recorded testimonies from people who were victims of crime during the Irish rebellion of  1641. Additional testimonies recorded judicial interrogations investigating the crimes of 1641.

An initial search gave the results below. Names are reproduced as given with current Ordnance Survey name in parentheses afterwards. Robbery was typically livestock (cattle, sheep, horses) and corn, hay and household goods. It’s a fantastic resource to give an indication of placenames at this time. Stagonil was the old name for the parish of Powerscourt, and variations of this name occurs in several of the testimonies.

  1. Deposition by Richard Carpenter, 22/1/1642 regarding robbery and apostacy. Lives in Beanaghe (Bahana) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 034r-034v)
  2. Deposition by Richard Chamberlain, 25/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Ballynegee (Ballinagee) in the parish of Stagonan. (MS 811, fols 035r-035v)
  3. Deposition by John Davis, 25/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Kilgarren (Kilgarran) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 039r-039v)
  4. Deposition by Thomas Duckworth, aged 57, 9/2/1642 regarding military action and robbery. Lives in Monaster (Monastery). (MS 811, fols 045r-045v)
  5. Deposition by Henry ffisher, 25/1/1642 regarding “apostacy, captivity, desecration, robbery, stripping, words”. Lives in Powerscourte (Powerscourt) in the parish of Stagonan. (MS 811, fols 047r-048v)
  6. Deposition by Hugh ffoulke, a British protestant, 29/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Manistr (Monastery). (MS 811, fols 053r-053v)
  7. Deposition by Henry fitzWilliams, 25/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Beanagh (Bahana) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 163r-163v)
  8. Deposition by William Hunter, 22/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Glasganny (Glaskenny) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 064r-064v)
  9. Deposition by John Johnson, innkeeper, 28/4/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Kilgarren (Kilgarran). (MS 811, fols 151r-151v)
  10. Deposition by Daniell Rideings, a weaver, 1/3/1842, regarding military action and robbery. Lives in Monaster (Monastery). (MS 811, fols 087r-087v)
  11. Deposition by John Ryder, yeoman, 1/2/1642, regarding robbery, stripping. Late of Ballinegee (Ballinagee). (MS 811, fols 036r-036v)
  12. Deposition by Edward Tomas, 25/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Powerscourte (Powerscourt) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 099r-099v)
  13. Deposition by John Watson, yeoman, 22/1/1642 regarding “captivity, robbery, stripping”. Lives in Kilgarran near Powrtscourte (Powerscourt). (MS 811, fols 104r-104v)
  14. Deposition by Ralphe Weanwright, 25/1/1642 regarding robbery. Lives in Stillbane (Stilebawn) in the parish of Stagonnan. (MS 811, fols 105r-105v)
  15. Deposition by William Winsmore, 9/2/1642, regarding robbery. Lives in Monaster (Monastery) in the parish of Powerscourte (Powerscourt). (MS 811, fols 107r-108v)

Go to the 1641 TCD Website.