Visitors to our Village

The History of Irish Travel and Tourism project is looking for support from the Arthur Guinness Projects funds, and you can vote every day until close of polls this Friday. Below are some interesting nuggets from travel documentation that I have found, and the aim of the people behind this website is to make a lot more available. Do give them a vote!

An Extensive View of Enniskerry, ca 1795. (Courtest of Fota House, Cork)

An Extensive View of Enniskerry, ca 1795. (Courtesy of Fota House, Cork)

One of the interesting things about people writing about travelling through our area in the 1700s is that they rarely mentioned Enniskerry. More often than not, as you trace their journey, waiting for them to turn the corner out of the Scalp and give us a wave, they talk about the inn at Tinnehinch. Enniskerry didn’t feature. Even artistic work of the time overlooked us. Jonathon Fisher’s wonderful painting “An Extensive View of Enniskerry”, is in fact “An Extensive View of Tinnehinch“, which I realised after a visit to Cork, where it is hanging in Fota House.

There was a coaching inn at Tinnehinch, and although probably didn’t have what we would consider good customer relations today, it lasted until the land was earmarked for Grattan who built or rebuilt Tinnehinch House on or near the site of the inn.

Soon after, confusion between Tinnehinch and Enniskerry disappeared. Suddenly Enniskerry and the Dargle Glen emerge to be commonly mentioned, so much so that they joined Powerscourt Waterfall as the “go-to” destinations, tourist attractions in their own right (more on visitors to the waterfall here). Clean air and terrifying glens were among the Lonely Planet equivalent’s “Top Ten” things to do.

Enniskerry, by George Hodson Bt., hidden a folder of mostly Alpine scenes (NLI)

Enniskerry, by George Hodson Bt., hidden a folder of mostly Alpine scenes (NLI)

All this gives some insight as to what Enniskerry was like prior to its development (“miserable” in one account) and when things started to change. I often wonder if Grattan hadn’t been given the land at Tinnehinch, would we be going to Spar at Charleville gates. Powerscourt’s improvements to the village changed it into a gentrified place. The Scottish traveller Ritchie wrote in 1837 that the village was:

a neat and finely situated little place. The annexed view is not only poetical, but so correct in the details, that I amused myself by letting some of the inhabitants point out their own individual. The one in the centre of the piece, at the right hand corner of the bridge, is the hotel, and a very good village hotel it is.

Ritchie was disturbed by a traveller later that night:

A young Irishman, half clothed, and very little acquainted with the English language, demanded alms at the door, as the servant supposed, and could not be prevailed upon to go without seeing ” the masther.” When I made my appearance, he explained that he was not a beggar, but a “thraveller” on his way to London, and that he wanted nothing at all at all, only just a night’s lodging.

The inn here is of course now the Powerscourt Arms, another old coaching inn, but not nearly as well known in the previous century as that at Tinnehinch. It just about got a mention in 1797 from the French visitor, De La Tocnaye.

Enniskerry 1783 by Francis Wheatley 1747-1801

Enniskerry 1783 by Francis Wheatley 1747-1801

Images and drawings also provide clues to our development. Brocas’ drawing of the bridge in 1822, Lewis Wingfield’s photo in the late 1850s and the later photos of the village show the progression from three arches to iron bridge to the gorgeous single span bridge we have today. One image that I don’t think I will ever identify the location of is this one called “Enniskerry”, by Francis Wheatley. Answers on a postcard…

All this is a brief summary of why traveller records in word and sketch are important to gaining an intimate sense of how a locality develops. There must be a lot more out there. I happened across a view of Enniskerry in a folder of Alpine scenes by George Hodson. How many more are hidden? The experts want to help… do consider supporting the HITT project today!

More references to Enniskerry in early travel literature are here.

Tinnehinch Labourers 1828

The following names of workers on the Tinnehinch estate of James Grattan, were taken from the Workmen’s accounts book, 1828 (NLI MS 5516). As with the Powerscourt workmen’s accounts, daily activities are listed, and a sample daily activity is shown here. Interesting that it is a different set of names to those found around the Enniskerry area for Powerscourt. The Monck (Charleville) names will be an interesting comparison to both Powerscourt and Tinnehinch.

Alex Toole In stable
Patrick Kelly Putting in potatoes
Edward Jones Picking apples
James Neal In garden
Thomas Neal Drawing stones
Charles McDonnell In garden
Thomas? Grantham with black horse
Daniel Gallagher Drawing timber
Michael Murphy Trashing
Thomas? Doyle pulling straw for cottage
James Doyle Tatching Jones’ house
Matthew Toner? In garden
William Neal Spudling potatoes
Thomas Doyle B Poast
William Doyle B With cows
Richard Toner B Gate
Mary Byrne Picking potatoes
Mary Conner Picking potatoes
Mary Knox? Picking potatoes
Mary McDonnell Picking potatoes
Ann Lyons Picking potatoes
Thomas McDonnell Picking potatoes
Gerry/Genny Neal Picking potatoes
Mary Gleeson Picking potatoes
Thomas Doyle Picking potatoes
Thomas Basset Picking potatoes
Stephen Kavanagh Sleator
Stephen Breslin Mason
Luke Burne
Ellen Harris
George Long

How we came to be

Everywhere we go,

People always ask us,

Who we are,

And where we come from.

A question often asked when you initiate a conversation about family history is: “how far back have you got?” Genealogy is a quest whose ultimate goal, it seems, is Adam and Eve. The Garden of Eden for Enniskerry and its surroundings can be firmly placed in the middle of the seventeenth century, when many families settled here for the first time.

Land so close to Dublin was always going to be precious. The ancient territory of Fercullen, stretching in from Bray to the east to Lough Bray to the west was strategically important as it separated Dublin from the Wicklow mountains. Since Norman invasion in the twelfth century, there was a dizzying array of land takeovers. At one stage, the O’Tooles, former owners of the lands, were paid by to protect the land from other potential Irish invaders. This arrangement turned sour, and as we enter the 1600s, Fercullen was granted in 1603 to Elizabeth I’s favourite soldier: Sir Richard Wingfield. In 1609, James I confirmed Richard’s status and granted him the lands for ever. The original grant was:

the manor of Powerscourt, containing one ruinous castle… and all lands in the whole countrie of Fercullen conteininge in itself 5 miles in leinth and 4 in bredth, for the most part mountaine and stonie… to hold for 21 years at a rent of £6 Ierishe”.

Soon after, the name Fercullen became obsolete, and Powerscourt was the name for the area. In 1618, Richard became Viscount Powerscourt, paying a considerable sum of money in fee, even though he didn’t have a direct heir (meaning the title would become extinct on his death). It is unlikely that he lived in his “ruinous castle”, but his heir, Sir Edward Wingfield, may have. The next 40 years were among the most violent in Irish history. Cromwell’s invasion in 1649 left Royalist forces in Ireland rushing to defend their lands, with the support of Irish Confederates. Five companies were sent to Powerscourt to destroy it and prevent it from being taken and used by Cromwell’s Puritan Army. Cromwell’s conquest was largely complete in 1652. In order to pay his men, he instructed William Petty to survey lands to distribute them to his army. This was completed by 1657, but by 1660, Cromwellian rule was over and the monarchy had been restored in Charles II. Royalty reigned again.

Land ownership before and after Cromwell invasion is now traceable on the wonderful Trinity College Dublin Down Survey site. Here land ownership in 1641 and land ownership after the Restoration can be compared. It was typical that land was taken from Catholics, and having been given to Protestants by Cromwell, remained that way after Charles II came to power, as he was loathe to unsettle his Protestant supporters. (The Confederates were conveniently forgotten). The interesting thing about Powerscourt is that the land ownership remained the same. Folliott Wingfield, who had been a minor for the entire Cromwellian episode, came of age in 1663. Because they were Royalists, the Wingfield lands at Powerscourt had been assigned by Cromwell to Sir Charles Meredith. However, after Charles II regained the throne, Meredith lost out. A very rare 17th century document in the Powerscourt Papers at the National Library of Ireland confirmed Folliott’s position as lord of all lands at Powerscourt in 1663:

Sir Edward Wingfield Knight, grandfather to our subjecte Folliott Wingfield, of Powerscourte in the County of Wicklow.

Folliot, now of age, with several thousand acres to his name, began to rebuild the castle at Powerscourt and occupy the lands. A new settlement was evident in the names recorded in the Parish register at the church. Canon Stokes recounts in his Parish of Powerscourt:

As was natural in a fairly new community marriages come first…1662…with names still familiar, Williams, Jones and Sumers. Burials began the following year with names which include Hicks and Burton. No baptismal records are available until 1677 when the first of the large family of Bethel and Bridget Burton was brought to the font in the church beside Powerscourt House.

A confirmatory source for these new inhabitants can be found in the Hearth Money Rolls, a list of parishes and townlands within them, and their occupants. They were so-called as householders were taxed two shillings for every hearth they owned. The only surviving copy of the list details householders who owned more than two hearths, and hence were probably the significant houses of the period. These include John Amacky and George Norris of Bahana, Mr Williams of Killegar, Mr Patrickson and Cornelius Kelley of Monastery, William Paine at Enniskerry, John Townsell at Enniskerry, Robert Steele at Parknasiloge, Ralph Smith and Christian Carr at Cookstown, Thomas Evans and Mr Fox at Tinnahinch, Mr Burton, and Hugh Kelly. These names differ from those reported less than twenty years earlier, when significant names in the parish (as reported to the 1641 depositions) included Carpenter, Chamberlain, Hunter, Johnson, Ryder, Watson, and Winsmore. In just 60 years, the entire structure of land ownership in the area had completely and irreversibly changed hands.

Folliott married the daughter of the immensely wealthy Earl of Orrery in 1660, and probably rebuilt the church beside Powerscourt house, now a ruin but apparently had a capacity for 700 people. This number seems an exaggeration, but it must have been at least considerable. He also rebuilt the castle, for its final incarnation. He became 1st Viscount Powerscourt of the second creation, but he also died without direct issue, so the title became extinct. The title wouldn’t be bestowed again until the eighteenth century, after the construction of Powerscourt House around the original castle in 1743.

Little physical remains of Folliot’s presence at Powerscourt, but the names of many inhabitants of the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth centuries, and even today; those we owe to his assignations in the decade after the Restoration of the Monarchy.

Submissions are invited for articles to the 2013 Journal of Enniskerry and Powerscourt Local History. The theme this year is “Gathering our Genealogies“. See here fore more details


The Down Survey Project at Trinity College Dublin can be explored at

Landowners in Enniskerry, 1876

The following is a list of returns for Enniskerry in the report “Landowners in Ireland: Return of owners of land of one acre and upwards” published in 1876. The list is not comprehensive, as it is only informative if people who are resident on that land. For example, Benjamin Lee Guinness comes in as owning nearly 1500 acres of land in Wicklow, but his address is simply: “Dublin”. There is also a Joseph Darlington, a good 19th century Enniskerry name, who owns just over an acre, but again he lives outside the county, so we can’t say if he is indeed an Enniskerry man. Nevertheless, it is an interesting compilation. The most valuable piece of land based on size is that belonging to the representatives of Rev Luke King at Cookstown, which is worth over £7.50 per acre. The extent of the Powerscourt estate is given as nearly 37,000 acres, while Charleville is about one tenth of that. Nevertheless that value of land at Charleville per acre is almost double that of Powerscourt.

Name Address Extent of land (acres) Value (£)
Evans, John Crone 454 113
Grattan, Lady Laura Tinnehinch 58 122
King, Representatives of Rev Luke, Cookstown 75 568
Monck, Viscount Charleville 3434 1556
Powerscourt, Lord Viscount Powerscourt 36693 8890
Young, Eliza Cookstown 3 60

You can explore this document at



Tinnehinch Road, ca. 1957.

This image was uploaded by a website user and has been identified over on FaceBook as being just outside the Powerscourt Gate, on the road towards Lover’s Leap/Tinnehinch Hill. One of the signs says “The Dargle” . Does this mean the Dargle was still an (accessible) tourist attraction in 1950s?


Dining at Tinnehinch Inn, 1781

There is nothing nicer than getting a good meal served up after a good walk in the Spring sunshine that we enjoyed today. Spare a thought then for poor Edward Lloyd, who recounted the tale of his dinner at the inn at Tinnehinch in 1781:

We had given orders for a dinner at Tina-Hinch, and by the exercise we had undergone in climbing the hill, our stomachs had acquired a wonderful keenness. However, when we arrived at the Inn, our host had made very little preparation for our entertainment. After waiting as patiently as circumstances would permit for the space of an hour, the table was covered with a wet cloth, blunt knives, and the following dishes of meat served up, viz. A piece of salt beef garnished with long greens, and which seemed to have been suspended ten years in the smoak; three chickens, and a quarter of lamb, without any kind of sauce of vegetables.

The waiter was a most original Hibernian character, and beggars description. His expressions and allusions were peculiar to himself. When we expostulated with him upon the badness of our dinner, his reply was, ‘upon my shoul it is very well you get any at all;—it is no fault of mine; for I am only a lodger.’ When we desired him to bring us a few more eggs, he said ‘we might as well ask a Highlander for a pair of breeches as ask him for eggs.’ We begg’d he would go to a neighbour’s house and buy a few—his reply was, ‘upon my shoul I could not buy one if I gave a ton of coals for it.’

The full details of Edward Lloyd’s Month’s Tour in North Wales, Dublin, and its Environs are available to read in the Online Resources area in the National Library of Ireland (Eighteenth Century Catalogue). The inn wouldn’t last too much longer, as it became the preferred site for Henry Grattan’s new home.

List of those with burial rights in Powerscourt

When the new church at Powerscourt gates was built, Mervyn, 7th Viscount, “requested Mr William Buckley, the then innkeeper of the Powerscourt Arms Hotel Enniskerry, who was then churchwarden, to furnish me with a list of the parishioners…[so that] the burials in the old churchyard are restricted to those families who had rights prior to 1869.” – where the old churchyard was that beside the house.

As luck would have it, this list still exists in the Powerscourt Papers at the National Library of Ireland, and I have reproduced it below. Some of the names have been annotated in pencil “decd” – so the list was obviously updated at some stage. It is in two parts: those living in the Parish and those outside. A note on the front page said that a copy of the list has been given to (I think) H Galbraith in 1879.

MS 43,061 /10: List of those with right of burial in the churchyard in Powerscourt Demesne; 2pp undated

List of those resident in the parish

Anthony Beale and family Killough
James Booth do Bahana
Thomas Bradner do Tonygarra
William Buckley decd do Enniskerry
Francis Buckley do Lackendarra
Robert Buckley do Onagh
John Buckley do Knockbawn
John Buckley do Ballybrew
John Thomas Buckley do Enniskerry
Henry Buckley decd do Enniskerry
Samuel Buckley do Glasskenny
Loftus Buckley do Deerpark
William Burn/Bunn do Killegar
Thomas Burton do Annacrevy
Mrs Burton do Annacrevy
Alice Burton do Barnamire
Richard Burton do Barnamire
William Burton do Barnamire
Bethel Burton decd do Barnamire
Mrs Bernard do Enniskerry
William Correll decd do Enniskerry
Anne Curley Enniskerry
Maryanne Darlington Monastry
John Evans decd and family Crone
Thomas Fanning do Stylebawn
Catherine Green do Enniskerry
Robert Graydon do Coolekey
Mrs Harricks do Glasskenny
William Hicks do Kilmolin
Leonard Hicks do Cluen?
John Hicks do Cluen?
Mrs Harrisson do Ballinagee
Thomas Halpin decd Monastry
John Hopkins and family Deerpark
Mrs Jones do Ballinagee
John Jones do Tinnehinch
Mr Henry Keegan decd do Bahana
Mrs Saul Keegan do Bahana
Mr RP Keegan do Ballinagee
John Long do Killough
Miss Larkin do Charleville
Viscount Monck do Charleville
Miss Moore Ballinagee
Thomas Miller decd and family Glasskenny
Mary McMullen do Monastry
Matthew Noble do Tonygarra
Patrick Noble do Annacrevy
Philip O’Connor do Annacrevy
Henry Pearson do Killough
Mrs Patrickson do Killegar
Viscount Powerscourt do Powerscourt
James Quigley do Enniskerry
Timothy Quigley decd do Kilmolin
Henry Quinn do Killough
William Quinn do Charleville
Mrs Roe do Coolekey
Henry Sandys decd do The Dargle
Henry Sutton do Long Hill
Mrs Sutton do Ballyreagh
Mrs Stronge decd do Berryfield
John Townsend do Killough
Henry Townsend do Ballyornan
Saul Tourson do Cluen?
Mrs Tourson do Kilmolin
Mrs Tourson do Enniskerry
Robert Townsend decd and family Deerpark
Thomas Walker decd do Curtlestown
Margaret Walker Enniskerry
Henry Ward Parknasillogue
Francis Ward and Family Parknasillogue
Robert Williams do Ballybrew
Mrs Maude Williams do Ballybrew
Abraham Williams do Cookstown
William Williams do Ballinagee
Miss Williams do Enniskerry
Michael Walker do Ballybawn
Edward Young decd do Barnaslingan
John Hillman do Monastry
George Hillman do Monastry
Mrs Curley Enniskerry

Not resident in this parish

Edward Keegan and Family Kilternan
Anne Davis do Dublin
Mrs Dalton do Bray
John Buckley do Killincarrig
Mrs Wm Fox do Coolegad
Captain Needham do
Mrs Murray
Mr Shaw do Celbridge
Mr Houghton do Ballybride
George Heatley do Glencormick
Mr McCready do Dublin
James Sutton do Ballycorus
Thomas Saunders do Dundrum
Mr Ormsby do Dublin
John Richardson do Kilgobbin
Benjamin Buckley do Rathgar
Benjamin Buckley do Ballybeta
Mr Le Grange and family Fassaroe
John Pharr do Ballinastow
George Fox do Kilternan
Mr Tracy do Bally—duff
John Williams do Donnybrook
Edward Pharr do Rathmines
Charles Douglas do Palermo, Bray
James Buckley do Ballinastow
Alexander Roe in Australia
David Tourson do Bray
Mr Wm Harpeur? Do Stillorgan
Mr Vernier/Verrier do The Astle
Represantitves of Mr Hamilton
do Mr Ferrier Dublin
do Mr Woodburne Dublin
do Mr Underwood Dublin
do Mr Kennan Dublin
do Revd Wm Walker? England
do Mr Wm Collins Templeogue
do Captain Hoare
do Mr James Tracey Ballycorus
do Mr James Shirley Enniskerry
do Mr H M Mason Dublin
do Mr Frette? Dublin
do Mr Anthony Leeson Ballinastow
do Mr John Johnson Dublin
do Mr Flood Cookstown
do Mr Thomas Fox Killmurray
do Mr Devine Dublin
do Mr Thos Collins Ballybetha
do Major De Butts
do Mrs Stronge Glenamuck
do Mr Clark Dublin
do Mr Bessonnett (added in pencil) Dublin

A Lady’s Diary

Úna Wogan writes of some extracts from a lady’s diary that gives a lot of information about the area around the time of the 1798 rebellion:

In 1838 Catherine Mary Howard, a member of the English aristocracy privately published her diaries and personal papers. Intended for her children, she decided to preserve her recordings of her life experiences and the world events she observed. The result was a series of short volumes covering different periods of her life entitled “Reminiscence for My Children”. As a member of the privileged class, particularly after her marriage to Henry Howard in 1793, Catherine spent an incredible amount of time socialising with other prominent members of society. The copious amount of dinner parties, luncheons and house visits she experienced ensured she was exposed to, and participated in, discussions on private, national and world events of the time. Her observations and opinions of places and events during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s are fascinating to read.

In April 1799 her husband Henry Howard, Captain of the West Yorkshire Battalion, was dispatched with his men to Ireland to help the ‘clean up’ that followed the rebellion of 1798. Catherine accompanied her husband and the following months saw her wine, dine and socialise with the most elite members of Irish society. One volume of her published writings is based on her travels during this period. She gives detailed accounts of who was present at each dinner party she attended and relays many of the conversations that arose. In addition to repeating stories she was told of events during and after the rebellion itself, her observations of the places and people of Ireland provide vivid imagery of life in Ireland during this period, albeit from the eyes of the uppermost class of the time.

Of particular interest are the occasions Catherine spent in the Wicklow area, she stayed at Corke Abbey, Shelton Abbey, ‘Mount Kennedy’ and of course Powerscourt House. The first mention of Powerscourt appears to be her recording the occasion of a dinner party she attended in Dublin at which Lord Powerscourt was also a guest. After recounting the names of others that attended she continues;

“……..and Lord Powerscourt, who told me that a plot had been discovered last year by the soldiers, of the rebels having intended to take possession of his house at Powerscourt, and to have murdered his lieutenant-colonel, since which time it had already been converted into a barrack. He added that the Catholic priest of his parish was a great anti-republican, being one of those whom the French had pushed off in a boat, by way of getting rid of him, and that he had got safely away to Carnes.”

Presumably after this meeting an invitation to visit Powerscourt was issued. Another passage describes driving through “a romantic country” and reaching the house of Lord Monk*.

“…….the walls of a new house alone remain. When built by him a few years ago, Lord and Lady Monk went over to London to buy furniture, which was soon after put up, and one morning whilst they were at Dublin, a beam caught fire and on their return they found nothing but the walls standing”.

Catherine continues, describing the beauty of the countryside and how this part of the Dargle is the joint property of Lord Monk and Powerscourt. She proceeds to Powerscourt House of which she recounts;

“We found Lady Powerscourt at home. The house is a heavy stone superstructure suited to the scenery. The Egyptian hall is handsome, but darkens the entrance hall: it has been a barrack since the Rebellion, and though now all is quiet, they still have a guard of sixteen men at night, whilst the lower windows are barricaded by sods.”

Catherine describes many of the villages and towns she travels through. Here, on here way to Corke Abbey she passes through Old Connaught;

“Old Connaught is a pretty village, but the cottages are not cleanly, yet have not the same look of poverty as those on the Meath-side, whilst the former is much more fully inhabited.”

Later Catherine returned to stay at Powerscourt house. She describes the obligatory visit to the waterfall and a walk she took with her maid ‘Perkins’ during which they walked from “Tinni Hinch, Mr Grattan’s cottege”. She also attended church;

“I with Lady Powerscourt and Miss Winfield went to Powerscourt Church, which though out of site, is quite near the house. Here again the clerk is dressed in his full uniform, the congregation was chiefly composed of the Fermanagh militia, and of Lord Powerscourt’s yeomanry, both cavalry and infantry who after service paraded before the house.”

A further mention of the Egyptian Hall in Powerscourt house stated that it was;

“…at present rather dirty from its having been all last year served as a barrack. We saw a number of pikes, and a variety of other arms, which were taken from the rebels, some of which they had stolen from gentlemen’s houses, and others were made out of husbandry implements. Among them were many half-shears, fastened to poles of ash or oak, but which appeared too weighty to be manageable.”

Although the rebellion and its aftermath did not seem to have curtailed the social diaries of Catherine and her peers as they wined and dined in the grand houses of Ireland, she did seem disturbed by the stories of atrocities carried out by both sides that were relayed to her. If anything she seemed to acknowledge that the Rebels were paying a higher price than other parties involved.

“We have heard of several instances of cruelty, committed by the Orangemen, passed over, that would have been death to a rebel.”

However she appeared to consider the rebellion as little to do with England apart from a mess needed to be cleaned up. Her diary entries convey an air of detachment between the gentleman class and what they perceived to be the fighting factions, the Rebels and the Orangemen;

“We were very sorry to observe how inveterate the hatred still is between the Catholics and the Orangemen, or Loyalist as they called themselves.  The gentlemen now find when too late the necessity of keeping them down, and Lord Powerscourt dismissed a very good servant the other day solely because he styled himself an Orangeman. At the very name a Catholic would involuntarily rise up in arms. Mr and Mrs La Touch allow of no such distinction among their tenantry.”

There have been many accounts written by those involved in the rebellion and its bloody aftermath, good and bad, right and wrong. Catherine Howard’s account of her luxurious journey through Ireland at a time when such bloodshed occurred might seem insensitive against all the suffering that others endured. However it provides a unique insight into the lives and thoughts of a particular section of society of the time.


*Note: Catherine Howard’s spelling of ‘Monk’ in place of ‘Monck’ is maintained here.

Dargle National School ED/2 Files (Archive Month #12)

ED2/49 – Folio 12

– mentions Dargle School (Roll 982), Parish of Delgany, Townland of Tynehinch in 1816 taken into connexion by the board on 14 Feb 1833.

Name of Teacher:                                                            Correspondent

14 Feb 1834: Miss (Anastasia) Duffy                         James Grattan, Bray

3 June 1841:                                                                       Walter Berrick Esq, Enniskerry

7 April 1846: “Supt. Reports school conducted by temporary teacher owing to illness of A Duffy (M A Pollard is named as temp)

14 Sept 1846: Sup. Reports school has been closed since last inspection substitute having left.

26 Apr 1847: Inspector reports school still closed

Feb 3 1848: refers to letter written from board on this date “Strike off Roll no 982 and cancel grants from 1st June 1846 – school permanently closed”.


See this post for information on Eduction archives in the National Archives of Ireland

About Archive Month

Judicial Rent Reviews at Powerscourt (Archive Month #9)

The pencil lead is hardly dry on this latest data collection! I’m interested in the change of ownership of land from Powerscourt to tenants, and have been looking at the Land Commission records. From my limited understanding so far the Land Commission was established in 1881 to effect the voluntary transfer of land from estate owners to tenants. The initial idea seems to be that the land owners would be compensated with some form of bonds, and the tenants, living and working on the land, would borrow to buy the land they farmed. It wasn’t a terribly successful strategy, and a subsequent Act was enforced in 1903 called the Wyndham Land Act, which really seemed to be the death knell of great Irish estates, and this is what I am working on. This Act was much more successful, as it was cash up front, with a 12% bonus on price paid to the landlords to compensate for any discrepancy between what the tenant thought it was worth and what the landlord wanted. Acknowledging my economic naïveté, I consider it a latter day NAMA.

Powerscourt, as ever, is curious though. As part of the Land Commission’s duty, it seems they set judicial rents for what tenants should be paying. Land value hadn’t been set it seems since Griffith, and judicial reviews of rents seemed to set a new precedent, I think for a fixed period of 15 years. In the 19th century Parliamentary Papers, the summaries of these reviews was regularly published. Also published were amounts paid by the government after tenant purchase, which details the tenants involved.

Now here’s the thing – if you are still with me after my long preamble… While there are several judicial reviews for the Wicklow and Wexford estates, the only details of purchasing by tenants are in Wexford. I could find no details of land purchase from 1881 through to 1900 in Wicklow. It seems Powerscourt had no problem selling off his Wexford land, but was obviously not too keen on selling his Wicklow land. Listed below, are the judicial reviews for Wicklow, showing the tenant, area and value paid at the time, along with value after review. Almost all were down-graded in value, except for poor Eliza Burton, who had to pay more.

At the other end of the scale, there is an answer to a parliamentary question in the new Dáil in 1932, which stated that as far as the Government knew, Lord Powerscourt owned 1,845 acres in Wicklow, with a Poor Law value of £1346. The next part of my jigsaw search is finding out what happened in between. It is likely that the old boy hung on until the new Free State government forced his hand in the matter, and that land transfer began en masse in our estate in 1923. This was suggested by Canon Stokes in his Lecture. The remaining land was the subject of additional strife in the 1960s – another story – but at the time Taoiseach Seán Lemass, in response to a Dáil question about whether the government would buy Powerscourt, said that anyone who knew Powerscourt knew it was only mountain bog (referring to the surrounding land).

When I know more – I’ll tell you; if you know more – please tell me!

Judicial Reviews of Land Rent 1881 – 1900, Viscount Powerscourt as Landowner (Wicklow Estates)

Tenant/ Location Area Poor Law Valuation Former Rental Judicial Rental
1886 Lady Laura Grattan, Tinnehinch 34-1-35 £32 £77 35s £45
1889 Peter Whelan, Monastery and Anahaskin 21 £30 £36 10s £34
1889 James Pharr, Ballinastor 46-0-25 £15 5s £25 6s £15 15s by agreement
1890 Edward Somers, Ballinastoe 26-2-10 £24 10 £17 10 £15
1890 Francis Ward, Parknasilloge 22-0-34 £20 £13 £11
1890-91 James Quigley, Cookstown 13-1-14 £14 10s £19 10s £17 10s
1898 Wm A Buckley, Monastery 23-1-0 £21 £25 2s 8d £22 19s
1900 Eliza Burton, Barnamire 129-0-22 £33 15s £25 £31



Maps from Monck Papers at the National Library of Ireland (Archive Month #6)

The Monck papers which, like the previously mentioned Powerscourt papers, have their own index (No. 4 – Part I includes the Wicklow Estate information), have two maps of interest that I came across. Monck’s lived at Charleville, and the two maps mentioned here cover the area around Tinnehinch at the end of the 18th and 19th centuries respectively.

MS 26,949: A map of part of Tinnehinch, county Wicklow, part of the estate of Charles Stanley Monck, later 1st Viscount Monck, and holding of the Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan. Surveyed by Michael Curran. November 1788. 20 perches to 1 inch.

Michael Curran/Currin was obviously the map maker in the area at this time as he made several maps in the locality (see Powerscourt papers maps). This map shows the area east of the road, just past the narrow bridge at Tinnehinch, and the junction west to Roundwood and right to Kilcroney. Details between the road and the river are given. I was interested in this map as I was trying to pin down the building of Grattan’s house at Tinnehinch. The map shows three plots enclosed between the river and the road. The largest, most northerly and running along most of the river is annotated “Part of Lower Tinnehinch, the holdig of Henry Grattan”. The second portion has a house at the road’s edge, past the turn west for Roundwood, and is marked [unreadable]’s garden. No. 3 is a tiny plot, and either is not annotated or I did not take it down. The small remainder of the land is marked Kilcroney (possibly the townland?), and the road continuing east is marked “To Glen of the Downs”.

This map gave me more questions than answers. I wanted to know if Grattan rebuilt the inn that existed at Tinnehinch to make his new home (which seems to be locally accepted, but I haven’t seen evidence) or rebuilt the inn near the site of the old inn (some evidence for this, e.g. in landscape paintings). I go for the latter, but am still looking for the silver bullet to prove it! Let me know if you have an opinion for either option!

MS 26,962 Map of Charleville House, and lands to the north. No title, no map-maker, Lord Monck’s Estate, by John Kenny, 1891. Scale 6 inches to 1 statute mile.

A century later, and this map, which the library index suggests dates from 1890 – 1900 shows the house at Charleville and the lands to the north west, running along the river between Charleville and Powerscourt demesnes. Three large fields are marked. Most southerly, closest to, but not quite at, the house is Fernyfield, which has a track running through it south west to north east, which eventually meets the main avenue; there is a pump at the southern end. moving north along the river, the next plot is Bottoms, which contains “Drumbank”, and some forest or scrub planting. A path, along the northern edge of Bottoms runs east-west from Charleville Gate Lodge across this land, and a foot-bridge, to Powerscourt (to the Golden Gates lodge, which is not marked). The third plot, north of the path, is “Rape Field“, which is bound by the river at the west, north and east, and the mentioned path to the south.

It’s a pretty little map, with the fields coloured pink, green and yellow respectively. Fernyfield and Rape Field look to be similar size, with Bottoms approximately half as big again.


In my haste, I forgot to include additional details from the reverse of the map. The title is Lord Monck’s Estate, by John Kenny, 18th March, 1891. He has added a note: “I have shown the Rape Field as it may be required.” 3acres and 36 perches of the land surveyed are considered woods and waste. The acreage of the three plots are given:

  • Fernyfield: 11A 0R 24P Gross; 10-2-0 Net (of woods and waste)
  • Bottoms and Drumbank: 15-0-38 gross, 12-3-0 net
  • Rapefield: 7-1-14 gross, 7-1-0 net.


About Archive Month

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


Travellers’ Accounts of Touring in Enniskerry (Archive Month #1)

There’s a long tradition of travellers writing accounts of passing through Enniskerry and Tinnehinch, (usually) writing about the beauty of the area. In the early stages of the book, I used some of these accounts to build a picture of what the village was like in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. There are many more accounts that I didn’t explicitly mention, and I list below some more, in chronological order, with relevant details and/or extracts I noted on reading them.

I can whole-heartedly recommend C. J. Woods book “Travellers’ Accounts as Source-Material for Irish Historians” which is a really excellent read and very informative on using these accounts in local history studies. I think it was there that I saw an interesting comment about the occurrence of plagiarism from one book to another (i.e. that the writer never visited some places at all!), and there is a certain …rhythm…. to the comments about Powerscourt Waterfall! The books themselves are available in the National Library or occasionally on Google Books. The library catalogue usually provides a link to Google Books if available there.

A tour in Ireland in 1775 with a map and a view of the Salmon Leap at Ballyshannon. Richard Twiss. London: Robson, 1776.

Brief mention of Powerscourt Waterfall, with a discussion on how it compares with others internationally.

Letters written from Leverpoole, Chester, Corke, the Lake of Killarney, Dublin, Tunbridge Wells, Bath, Samuel Derrick, London: Davis & Reymers, 1767, Letter XIX, Oct 28, 1760.

Extract from pp 131-132

As to my lord’s house [Powerscourt], I must say that when I compare its situation with many others, within a mile or two, equally commodious, and infinitely more delightful, I am sorry for the late lord’s choice, and am apt to believe the present noble proprietor sympathises in my feeling. The hall is, besides, a great deal too low, considering its breadth and overcrowded with stucco and carving. The Egyptian hall is a noble room; but the walls are out of repair, and the floor is too slippery as to render it useless.

A tour through Ireland, by Charles Topham Bowden. Dublin: Corbet, 1791.

  • Passing referenct to Powerscourt and dining with Grattan at Tinnehinch. Comments on Grattan, his wife and compares Powerscourt Waterfall to Poulaphoca (not favourably).

A trip through part of the County of Wicklow in July, 1791, Walkers’ Hibernian Magazine, May 1793, 445-8.

Page 447: refers to “superstituous tradition, related by bigoted vulgar” about Lover’s Leap:

A lady who conceived an inordinate passion for an obdurate lover, her affections not having the smallest influence on the inflexible Stephon, she hoped at last to procure by artifice what she had in vain endeavoured to effect by specious insinuations. With this intention, he was conducted to this stupenduous precipice, then told of her determined resolution of leaoing down in case of non-compliance; his firm perseverance at length irritated her to take this leap, the result of which must be too obvious to every reader to enquire an account of.

page 447 refers to “Burnt Rock, another immense precipice which commands a bold prospect of Lord Powerscourt’s beautiful seat”

At a little distance you come to the Moss-House, which is erected on another stupenduous cliff of a rock, built in form of a semicircle with an arched covering projecting over it like a canopy, artifcially stuck with moss; there are seats placed around, as rests for the jaded (though delighted!) traveller

In an oblique direction, under this Moss-House, is a cave of a conical form, called Lord Kerry’s cave, the basis of which is about nine feet in circumference, and ends in a spiral form, with a small aperature at the top.

page 448, refers to Enniskerry and Tinnehinch

I aagreeably regaled with a part of a cold shoulder of mutton &c. At Tinnehinch, the right hon. Henry Grattan has an elegant seat, which was formerly an inn, and purchased by Mr. Grattan some years ago. From this, I passed on to Enniskerry, a small village, near which on the direct road to Dublin, is a remarkable charm, called the Scalp.

The Stranger in Ireland; or a tour in the southern and western parts of that country in the year 1805, John Carr, Esq. London: Phillips, 1806.Contains several images of varying quality

  • Scalp, p139
  • Entrance to the Dargle from St. Valori, the seat of J. C. Walker (referred to as W. C Walker in the text)
  • Powerscourt and Tinnehinch houses, with little other detail.

Describes arriving in Enniskerry:

As we descended [from Scalp] to the beautiful village of Inniskerry, on one side the eye reposed upon rich meadows; on the other, a slope of trees oresented a compact shade. Before us, as the road, enlivened by passing peasants, turned over a picturesque bridge, a neat farm-house presented itself; and a village school, standing in the bottom of the valley, just peeped with its upper windows above the level: whilst a hill, lightly clothed with young wood, extended a rich scene behind.

(Trees in last sentence are described as Auburn. )

Detailed visit to Grattan and brief outline of visit to Powerscourt are described.

A tour in Ireland in 1813 & 1814, By an Englishman. Dublin: Gough, 1817.

  • Page 182 – reference to Enniskerry, written in 1813/1814: “we enter that county [Wicklow] at the beautiful village of Enniskerry.”
  • Contains a lot of detail on the natural beauty of the setting (oak trees predominant, rivers, precipices etc but no more mention of the built environment).

CJ Woods argues that the author is John Alexander Staples, not John Gough.

Narrative of a residence in Ireland during the summer of 1814 and that of 1815, Anne Plumptre, London: Colburn, 1815.

Brief reference to Enniskerry (p 214)

…the village of Enniskerry which stands very picturesquely upon the slope of a steep hill. It is seen to most advantage coming down the hill on the other side from the Scalp the view of it is then remarkably pretty. It is one of the neatest villages to be seen in Ireland. Above the road coming down from the Scalp side are lofty sand banks things not often to be seen in this country.

Has two plates of Scalp, looking east (little detail, one shows a few cottages, another shows a horse and trap) P187, 188.

Ireland in 1834: a journey throughout Ireland, during the spring, summer, and autumn of 1834, Henry D Inglis, London: Whittaker, 1834.

Extract about visiting Wicklow, seeing Powerscourt Waterfall and like other authors being a little disappointed (see Woods ref 37). Passing comments to Enniskerry’s beauty and starting point for tourist in Wicklow. Some comments about the Irish Jaunting Car.

I left Dublin in the afternoon for Inniskerry a little village about nine miles from Dublin on the borders of the county of Wicklow and arrived there about dusk after a drive through an agreeable country fertile and well wooded for several miles after leaving Dublin but of a wilder character as it approached the mountains It would be no difficult matter to fill a chapter with descriptive sketches of the county of Wicklow and Inniskerry the village at which I have now arrived is always the first head quarters of the Wicklow tourist. But I have no intention of filling any great space in these volumes with descriptions of scenery and where I make an exception to this rule it will be in favour of places less likely to be known to the reader than the Dargle the Devil’s Glyn Powerscourt and the Seven Churches It is certainly a great advantage that which is possessed by the inhabitants of Dublin of being able during a three days tour to see so sweet an union of the beautiful and the picturesque as many parts of Wicklow present and even to form a conception of the still higher attractions of mountain scenery It is true everything here is en petit but it is a beautiful minuteness. From my head quarters at Inniskerry which by the bye is a clean and prettily situated little village I visited the Glen of the Downs the Dargle and Powerscourt whose waterfall so much extolled in the Guide books pleased me less than the fine vegetation and magnificent timber on the domain through which the road is constructed and on the evening after my arrival at Inniskerry I took my seat in company with five other persons on a public car which plies between that village and another called Roundwood about nine miles distant.

Comments about being beside a clergyman who gave out about Catholic tenantry: [written in Avoca]

It chanced that I was seated next to the Protestant clergyman of an adjoining parish and we soon got into conversation He told me he was a considerable landowner as well as a clergyman and spoke strongly of the discomfort of having a Catholic tenantry about him which however he was doing his best to rid himself of I was unfortunate in this first specimen of the country clergy I had met I told him I thought he was fortunate in having a tenantry at all and so as they paid their rents it seemed a matter of comparatively little importance of what religion they were and notwithstanding the little sympathy which I evinced we continued pretty good friends as far as Roundwood. The country between Inniskerry and Roundwood is very varied in its aspect for several miles the road runs through the Powerscourt domain but afterwards through a wild and uninteresting country but evidently under improvement. I noticed more than one substantial farmhouse newly built or in course of building.

A Three Days’ Ramble in the County of Wicklow, The Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 2, No. 82 (Jan. 25, 1834), pp. 233-238

Another journal travel account, of interest as it contains a detailed description of the Waterfall, Dargle Valley, Lovers’ Leap in a manner that would make Fáilte Ireland blush. There is also a sketch of the waterfall and the Moss House. Regarding the latter:

Arrived at this part of the Dargle-the rural traveller almost enclosed in wood, on the right hand side, feasts his eyes by looking between some low oaks growing on the opposite bank of the river; through the foliage, edging the verdant scenery, the summer sky is occasionally seen : this appearance, added to a delightful elegance in the contour of the hills, has a most agreeable effect. Winding his way down to a rustic covered bench, called the Moss-House, situate on a bold and projecting rocky point, the admirer of nature is presented with a charming view.

Moss House on the Dargle, from the Dublin Penny Journal, "by our intelligent correspondent, B". Click to enlarge.

A Scottish Whig in Ireland, 1835 – 1838 the Irish Journals of Robert Graham of Redgorton. Ed. Henry Heaney. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1999.

28th May, 1835

  • Mentions Scalp, as “much thought of here, which is merely a narrow and rugged defile thro’ which the road passes… is an isolated feature in a tamer country” (compared to Scotland).
  • Describes entrance to Dargle, part of the private grounds of Powerscourt. “At the gate, there is a small place for entertainment of the visitor and it was overflowing and the roadside had the appearance of a fair with cars, carriages, crowds of pedestrians, and music. It is a very narrow glen, having its steep banks covered in oak (and a little holly).”
  • Describes Powerscourt House “a large ugly house, with a good deal of dressed ground, but in the absence of the proprietor, not kept in the best order. As he is expected home, the house is undergoing a thorough repair and is in great disorder, and they were very unwilling to show it.”
  • Describes the setting of Enniskerry: “The situation of Enniskerry is naturally beautiful, on the banks of the Bray, which are steepish and totally ornamented with young plantations. The houses have been latterly restored or built of new, so that it has a most clean and picturesque appearance.

2 June 1835; En route to Powerscourt Waterfall from “Kallery Church”:

  • “I examined some of the smallest cabins which we passed on the way. They are smaller than any thing that can be noticed with us as a human residence, but not so uncomfortable as I expected. I saw much worse in the county of Dublin, but everything within the verge of the Powerscourt domain is changing its natural character very fast and the smallest establishments are comfortably and nicely restored.
  • Regarding Powerscourt Waterfall: “There is a very pretty little sward with healthy thriving oaks surrounding a cottage establishment for tea drinkings and for the family just adjoining.”

Miseries and beauties of Ireland, Jonathon Binns, London: Longman, 1837 (Volume 1)

  • Mentions travel to Powerscourt, through Enniskerry (“a pretty village on the Dargle river”).
  • Comments on poor work ethic of irish labourers on approach to Enniskerry and states that “The spiritless inactivity of the Irish labourer may also be attributed to the very small wages he receives as well as to the inevitable consequence of small wages the miserable food on which he subsists in many instances it is barely sufficient to support his wretched life”
  • Visits Powerscourt Waterfall, Tinnehinch, Lover’s Leap and enjoys all.

Excursions in Ireland in 1844 and 1850 with a visit to the late Daniel O’Connell, Catherine M O’Connell, London: Bentley, 1852.

Visits Dargle and describes the setting:

…enjoying the coolness of its shade, the more adventurous amongst us climbing down the steep sides to catch new views of the noisy river

Visits Powerscourt Waterfall, and describes the setting and a visit to a peasant’s house (this visit was on the eve of the Famine):

…through the most picturesque country, admirable in its native beauty but far more so in the rural comfort of its little homesteads, save for the mountains we would fancy ourselves among the ‘cottage houses’ of southern England. There was no appearance of poverty, and all around, from the woman knitting by her cabin-door, to the strong looking workmen so diligently earthing their field of early potatoes, showed their contentment of industry, which I have vainly sought in other parts of Ireland…

We enter one cottage, and its pretty exterior covered with woodbine, roses and ivy, correspond with the neatness within; the only inmate received us with a ready smile, and dusting the straw-bottomed chairs asked us to be seated; she looked a picture of cheerful happiness she acknowledged she felt; her husband had plenty of work, was ‘a dacent, quiet boy’, her children were at school, and they had a good lease of their ‘little place’. She brought a cup of milk for an English lady of our party, and stoutly refused any remuneration telling us with a tact which I gave her great credit for, that she had a sister in London married to an Englishman, and that ‘his people were very kind to Mary’…

The path to this cottage was through pretty garden, abundance of common flowers blooming in the borders, and the little gate in an un-Irish style, in good repair. There was no poverty here, the flowers plainly said so.

Angleterre, Ecosse, Irlande: voyage pittoresque, Louis Enault. Paris: Morizot, 1859

Reference to picturesque setting of Enniskerry:

Les courriers de milord envoyés dès la veille nous avaient fait préparer dans la meilleure auberge d Enniskerry un déjeuner confortable qui nous permit d admirer jusqu au soir les beautés de la nature sans distraction d estomac Enniskerry est un véritable village suisse il n y manque que les Suissesses quelques chalets et deux ou trois vachers pour sonner le ranz sur un alp horn Situé à mi côte sur une montagne dont les grands bois sont entrecoupés çà et là de pâturages Enniskerry domine le scalp dont les cimes touffues ondoient à ses pieds comme un océan de verdure

which Google translates as:

The letters of Lord sent the day before we had to prepare in the best hostel in Enniskerry a comfortable breakfast which allowed us to enjoy until the evening of the beauties of nature without distraction from stomach Enniskerry is a real Swiss village that he lacks neither the Swiss few cottages and two or three cowboys to sound the Ranz on alp horn Located half a mountain side on which the big woods are interspersed here and there Enniskerry pasture dominates the scalp with crowns at his feet thick undulate like a sea of green.

So there!


About Archive Month

18th Century Surveys of Wicklow

One of the great sources of information I had in studying the village’s history was the range of parliamentary inquiries of the 19th century, with their detailed data collection and data analysis providing a great source of contemporary information. However, I confess to neglecting similar inquiries of the 18th century. A relatively recent publication by Brian F Gurrin* provides a useful overview of three surveys that were conducted in County Wicklow, and are briefly summarised below.

Gurrin introduces his work by saying that while the 18th century inquiries may not have been a match for the scale and scope of those of the following century, they were “frequent, detailed, often impressive in their thoroughness, and specifically focussed”. The three inquiries described by Gurrin for Wicklow are the 1732 hearth tax census, counting the number of Protestant and Papist families; the 1766 religious census, which was to return the names of all householders and their religion and a survey of County Wicklow by the Hibernia Society. Some details relevant to the locality are presented below.

1732 Religious Census

The 1732 data was collected by government officials who were hearth tax-collectors, and were required to return the religion of all those paying hearth taxes in 1732. This method would have recorded the religion of families based on that of the head of the household. The underlying reason for the census was to determine the state and potential of Roman Catholic community in the country as a whole.

The returns indicated there were 232 Protestant families in the barony of half-Rathdown, with a total of 2886 in the county and 379 Papist families with a total of 5902 in the county, a ratio of 1:1.6 and 1:2 for barony and county respectively. Gurrin advises caution when interpreting the data. As the head of household was used to determine the religion of all those in the household, mixed households led to errors in the results, and it was more likely for there to be a Protestant head of household with Catholics present than the other way around. Also, the method of enumeration meant that Catholics were less likely to be counted, as they may have been exempt from the hearth-tax, lived in remote areas or simply just evaded being enumerated. There is a report of the frustration of an enumerator, retold to the Freeman’s Journal, bemoaning the fact that “every Popish house refused me any account at all, and in some places shut the door in my face'”. Examining the ratios in the local (half-Rathdown) context, it would appear though that even taking these limitations of enumeration into account, this part of the barony had a higher number of Protestants. Robert Fraser, in his Statistical Account, 1801, records a similar observation.

1766 Religious Census

The 1766 inquiry also collected information on the population and their religion. In this case, the enumerators were local clergymen, who reported on their parish. For this reason, the enumeration was more successful, although in a local context, it does of course depend on the clergyman’s familiarity with the parish and enthusiasm to complete the task. Summary data for the diocese of Dublin is reported, as much of the original returns are lost. These report that Powerscourt Parish had 76 Protestant families and 298 Roman Catholic families. Gurrin adds a note to say that:

A similar abstract in the R.C.B. Library provides further details. It is noted that ‘the priest lives in the adjoining parish of Delgany’ and that the return, signed by lohn Drury, Minister, was ‘dated at Powerscourt, 20 April 1766’ (R.C.B., MS 37, f. 4). [RCB is the Representative Church Body]

I can be corrected, but I wonder if the priest may have lived around Tinnehinch. In the Board of Education reports the following century, a school report for a school in Tinnehinch in the parish of Delgany was mentioned.

Hibernia Society Surveys

The Hibernia Society was a gentlemen’s society aimed at surveying and publishing findings of county surveys, and was established in the 1730’s. The survey recounts the following details about Powerscourt:

Powerscourt, 3 miles W: of Bray, up of the river, [is] the seat of Richd Wingfield Esqr. A fine house, lately rebuilt, pleasant gardens, and a large, well-wooded deerpark, with a river running thro it. The fall of water, or cascade, in this park, occasioned by this mountain river tumbling down a mighty precipice [300] feet high, with great noise & impetuosity, is justly taken notice of by travellers & reckond the second of the kind in Europe.

The fall of water, while praised here, was not usually praised in works from later in the century. Perhaps the travel writers by that time had seen a wider range of waterfalls from the continent! An earlier version of the survey includes some information not carried on to this later text:

A few miles from hence [Bray], Tinnypark, [the seat of] Sr Ed Baylys, famous for its beautiful gardens. Altidore, the seat of Genii Pearce. Near Bray,Charleville, the seat of Charles Monck, Esqr.

Enniskerry (or any variant) is not mentioned, while smaller settlements such as Delgany and Blessington are, and perhaps Tinnehinch (‘Tinnypark’). This is something I have found a lot in looking at 18th century literature – Enniskerry isn’t really mentioned until the turn of the century; for example in Delatocnaye’s Frenchman’s Walk through Ireland (1797).

Reference to source

*Brian F Gurrin (2006), Three eighteenth-century surveys of County Wicklow, Analecta Hibernica, 39, 79 – 134. Brian Gurrin also wrote a book in the Maynooth Local History series “Pre-Census Sources for Irish Demography”, published by Four Courts Press. Further details beyond this brief summary can be found there.

An Extensive View of Enniskerry: Jonathan Fisher

This painting by Jonathan Fisher was painted in the mid-late eighteenth century. It is currently hanging in Fota House in Cork, and they have generously given permission for it to be reproduced here. Click on the interactive image to find out more about the painting – you may need to install Flash Player to view it. Edit: See additional material in comments below.

While on the topic of Fota House, it is really well worth a visit. Any visit includes a house tour and anyone who is a fan of Downton Abbey (who isn’t!) will be in for a treat, as they recreate what life was like for wealthy families in Irish “Big Houses”. The gardens are absolutely spectacular too. You can find out more about the house at their learning zone.