Placenames – Victoria Road

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In the second half of the 19th century Church Road, Trafalgar Road and Victoria Road were built. Victoria Road was called after the Queen Victoria. You can read more about her HERE Queen Victoria made four official visits to Ireland: 1849, 1853, 1861 and 1900. The railway station in Greystones opened on 30 October 1855. Many houses were built in Greystones after that time.

Placenames – Chill Mhantáin/Wicklow

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Chill Mhantáin means the church or cell of Mantáin.

Mantáin was thought to be a toothless man

who turned to Christianity shortly

after St. Patrick arrived in Ireland.

You can read more about Mantáin HERE

 

The name Wicklow is from Viking-lo,

which means a low-lying swamp or meadow near water.

 

Kindlestown Castle

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Kindlestown Castle was built by Norman nobleman,

Walter de Bendeville sometime around 1225.

In 1377 the wild O’Byrnes captured the castle.

It was taken back by the Normans

and in 1402 the O’Byrnes tried to capture the castle again but were defeated.

The castle gets its name from Albert de Kendley who owned both this castle

and Rathdown castle for a short amount of time.

There is more information about Kindlestown Castle HERE on Greystones Guide.

 

Please supervise children when they are researching online!

Rathdown – Evidence in the Landscape (cropmarks)

An aerial survey by Cambridge University

in July 1970 found cropmarks that showed Rathdown

was a medieval village or town

with signs of a castle, church and houses.

 

You can see the original photos HERE.

 

Can you work out where the village and castle

may have been from the markings on the ground?

 

What are crop marks?

When places where people once lived are deserted,

they become overgrown.

RuinsCreative Commons License Mark Coleman via Compfight

Eventually they are buried.

What is underneath the soil can affect

how the crops above them grow.

Ditches dug into the ground fill up

with soil over time. Crops grow well in these place.

They grow higher and look greener.

These create ‘positive’ cropmarks.

 

Where there are walls, floors or foundations underneath,

there is a thinner layer of soil.

Crops don’t grow as well on top of this rubble.

This creates ‘negative’ cropmarks.

Positive and negative cropmarks can be seen best from the air.

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Click on this LINK to read more about cropmarks.

Click HERE for a very detailed excavation

at Rathdown dating from 1997.

Rathdown Castle

The very first visitors to Greystones,

came during the Stone Age.

They didn’t stay where our town is today,

but instead they stayed at a place now called Rathdown,

just to the north.

North Circle stone

 Jim Champion via Compfight

 

In the Bronze age King Heremon came

and built a fortification

in this sheltered spot in 1699BC.

DSC_2425 Joachim S. Müller via Compfight

Rath means fort in Irish.

This is where the area of Rathdown gets its name.

 

Many hundreds of years later the Normans built

a proper castle at Rathdown.

The Normans were invited to Ireland in 1169

by the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough.

 

They built Rathdown castle soon after they arrived.

The Book of Howth names John, grandson of Domhnall MacGiollamocholmog,

chief of the Uí Dúnchada clan,

as the first owner of the castle in 1270.

Coincidently, John was also son in law of Dermot MacMurrough.

 

Dermot MacMurrough was the King of Leinster and was infamous

because he invited Norman soldiers to Ireland to help him win back his Kingdom.

Infamous means he was famous for all the wrong reasons.

He invited the Normans and promised to reward them with land.

They arrived in 1169 and took power in Ireland.

 

You can read more about Dermot MacMurrough on the

Ask About Ireland website

The MacGiollamocholomog clan later

sensibly changed their names to Fitz Dermot.

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This isn’t THE castle but this is what

it probably looked like as it was a Norman castle.

 

The wild Wicklow tribes, the O’Byrnes and O’Tooles

burnt down the castle in 1301.

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However it was rebuilt again from 1308

by other Norman families.

 

In 1534, a castle,

20 houses,

a watermill

and a creek were recorded at Rathdown.

Aerial photographs taken in 1970 were able to show signs

of the village and castle at Rathdown.

You can read about that HERE.

 

In the 19th century a crazy landowner

started dismantling the castle

to make walls and sheds on his farm.

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His name was Colonel Tarrant

and we feel he has a lot to answer for,

as he destroyed our heritage.

 

Finally the last stones of the castle were used

to make a railway bridge in the 1850s.

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Aerial photographs of the fields

where the castle once stood show

outlines of ancient fields, houses, paths and roads.

 

 

Famous People – Colonel Frederick Burnaby & Elizabeth Whitshed

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Lots of places in Greystones are called after Colonel Burnaby.

Who was he?

Colonel Frederick Burnaby was a Victorian celebrity:

a soldier, adventurer, and writer.

He and his new wife Elizabeth Whitshed travelled

to North Africa on honeymoon,

but due to delicate health,

Elizabeth returned to Greystones.

She then moved to Switzerland for health reasons.

Colonel Burnaby was killed in action

(near Khartoum in Sudan) in 1885.

These are from the archives:

See more also from the archives:

Click HERE to see a timeline for Colonel Frederick Burnaby

and Elizabeth Hawkins Whitshed.

Viking Links to Rathdown, North of Greystones

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Evidence of Vikings in the area

1. The Viking settlers used coins that were Anglo Saxon from abroad

until 997AD when they opened their own mint in Dublin.

An Anglo Saxon coin of the time before the mint was open

was found at Rathdown.

Experts say that this means there were Viking settlers at Rathdown

or that Vikings in the area traded with the Irish at Rathdown.

2. Other signs of Vikings in the area include

that the road connecting Bray and Greystones, is called Windgates.

Windgates comes from the Viking word ‘gata’ which means ‘road’

 

3. There is a famous Irish history book written in the 17th century.

It is called ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’

In this book there is an account of the battle at Delgany in 1021

in which the King of Leinster beat Sitric,

the king of the Vikings from Dublin.

The book says that after the battle,

the Irish that had won killed any Vikings that were left.

 

There was a big battle in Bray too.

It was at a place called Sunnybank now

When the Vikings and the Irish fought there

it was called the ‘Bloody bank’.

Sunnybank in Bray is on the Dublin Road

near Ravenswell School, Amphibian King and Lidl.

 

 

King Heremon builds a rath at Rathdown

In 1699BC, during the Bronze Age  King Heremon came

and built a rath at Rathdown.

That is how Rathdown, which is to the north of Greystones got its name.

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Imagine 1700 BC was the year the last species of mammoth

became extinct on Wrangel Island in the Artic Ocean!

The mammoth at the Royal BC MuseumCreative Commons License Ruth Hartnup via Compfight

Click HERE to learn a couple of extra facts about mammoths.

Don’t make this mistake !

Lots of people think that Greystones got its name from the small grey stones that you can see on South Beach. If you made this mistake, don’t worry. We did too.

DSC_1103 :: Sr. K :: via Compfight

In fact Greystones was first named by sailors passing by in their boats in the 18th Century. They saw the grey stone of the rocky headland, where St. David’s Secondary School is now and used call the place ‘The Grey Stones’. Greystones would have been the only bit of real shelter for boats along the East Coast from Wicklow to Bray.

Looking North from South Beach towards Bray you can see the small rocky headland here.

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Looking South towards the house called Carrig Eden you can see the grey rocks in this photo.

Greystones - County Wicklow [Ireland]Creative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

Here is a photograph of what the grey rocks or as the sailors called them ‘grey stones’ look like close up.

Greystones - County Wicklow [Ireland]Creative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

Annals of the Four Masters

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The Annals of the Four Masters is a history book written between 1632 and 1636.

The books contains information about

the family history of the kings and chieftains,

battles and wars with the Vikings, Normans and English invaders.

 

The Annals of the Four Masters mentions Rathdown

to the North of Greystones.

The Annals say King Heremon built a rath there towards the end of Bronze Age (500BC)

You can read more about the Annals of the Four Master on the ‘Ask about Ireland’ website.

Please note: the picture above is just an illustration.  It is not from the real Annals of the Four Masters.

Famous People – Elizabeth Hawkins Whitshed

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Elizabeth Hawkins Whitshed lived at Killincarrig House in Greystones. She was born in 1861. Her father was Sir St. Vincent Hawkins Whitshed.  He died when she was eleven. When she was eighteen she went to London in 1879 to be presented at the court of the English Queen, Victoria. She met Colonel Frederick Burnaby and they got married soon after.

She was very impressed by Colonel Burnaby. He was a celebrity of the time. He was six foot four, a soldier, an adventurer, traveller, balloonist and writer. At the time of his marriage Burnaby was working for the eldest son of Queen Victoria. He was in charge of the horses belonging to the Prince of Wales. They traveled to North Africa after their marriage. But Elizabeth became ill. In 1880, she returned to Greystones to have her only child Harry St. Vincent Augustus Burnaby.

In 1882, the doctor advised Elizabeth to go to live in Switzerland. It was thought that the climate in Switzerland would be good for her health. This seemed to work because the following winter Elizabeth climbed Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Switzerland. Elizabeth went on to become a famous lady mountaineer, a writer, a photographer and an expert on the Alps. You can read more about that time in her life if you click on this LINK . There is also a lot of information about Elizabeth HERE on the Our Wicklow Heritage in an article by Rosemary Raughter, of the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society.

Elizabeth Whitshed called the Burnaby Estate in Greystones after her husband. There is a road in the Burnaby called Whitshed Road. Elizabeth lived to be 73.

Exciting Interactive Link – Historic Environment Viewer from Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

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Just put Greystones in the search box and click on the dots to see places of historic interest.

Historic Environment Viewer from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

‘Copyright Government of Ireland. The content of this application is owned and operated by National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. This copyright material is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence’.

What was the Bronze Age like? What is its link to Greystones?

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The Bronze Age was the time between the Stone Age and the Iron Age. Bronze is a mixture of tin and copper. Bronze is harder than stone or either of the metals (tin and copper) from which it is made. Because bronze is stronger it could be used to make stronger tools and weapons. These discoveries led to improvements in the way people lived their lives.

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The Bronze Age was happening in Europe around 4000BC.  But it did not begin in Ireland until settlers came from France arrived in Ireland around 2000BC. They knew how to make tools and weapons from bronze. They taught the Irish how to do this.

You can read more about the Bronze Age on the ‘Ask About Ireland’ website HERE and a powerpoint about The Bronze Age on the Seomra Ranga website HERE.

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According to the Annals of the Four Masters, people lived in Greystones during the Bronze Age. A rath was built near the end of the Bronze Age in Rathdown to the north of Greystones by King Heremon.

Famous People: Isambard Kingdom Brunel

 

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: LEOL30 via Compfight

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in 1806.

He was an engineer who designed steamships, bridges and tunnels.

He engineered the railway line between Bray and Greystones.

This was a challenging job

as tunneling through rock was needed.

The arrival of the railway in Greystones

has made our town what it is today.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Nagesh Kamath via Compfight

You can read more about Isambard Kingdom Brunel HERE 

on the BBC Primary History website.

 

A History of Greystones (with pictures)

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: long may she rain  via Compfight

History of Greystones

Long ago no one lived in Greystones.

It was too wild and wind swept.

But people lived at Rathdown.

There is evidence that people have lived there

from the time of the Stone Age.

Then King Heremon built a rath

Sheep of Kings
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: mollydot via Compfight

in a more sheltered spot

to the north of Greystones.

This was at Rathdown.

This was 500 BC.

Pestle and mortar - Choquequirao - Peru

 Mark Rowland via Compfight

Early farmers lived at Rathdown too

By the Middle Ages there were

500 people living at Rathdown.

DSC_2425

Joachim S. Müller via Compfight

The Vikings came by boat and by land from Dublin.

Viking swords
Photo Credit: Arild Nybø via Compfight

Greystones is in County Wicklow.

Wicklow means ‘Viking Meadow’.

85 Haithabu Herbstmesse WMH 02-11-2014 Kai-Erik via Compfight.

Vikings were fierce warriors

from the North of Europe.

Later the Normans lived at the castle.

They were skilled soldiers

from the North of France.

William's silhouette
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Matthijs via Compfight

 

In 1301, the wild, Wicklow tribes,

the O’Tooles and the O’Byrnes

burnt down the castle.

They came on foot and horseback.

Greystones (Na Clocha Liatha in Irish) is a coastal town in County WicklowCreative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

In 1800 no one was living at Greystones.

Described as a ‘wild headland’,

English speaking sailors

sailing on the Irish Sea

used call the area ‘the grey stones’

because of the grey rocks.

In 1825, there were

7 fishing families living there.

Noose Mike Dean via Compfight

The arrival of the railway changed all that.

Now we are a town in the ‘commuter belt’.

People live in Greystones

and commute by train to Dublin city to work.

Lots of tourists come and visit us on the train.

It is a good place to visit

and a GREAT place to live.

 

204 of 365 - …upon the mountains like a flame

Fearghal via Compfight

 

A Short History of Greystones (with pictures)

 

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: long may she rain  via Compfight

History of Greystones

Long ago no one lived in Greystones.

It was too wild and wind swept.

But people lived at Rathdown.

There is evidence that people have lived there

from the time of the Stone Age.

Then King Heremon built a rath

Sheep of Kings
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: mollydot via Compfight

in a more sheltered spot to the north of Greystones.

This was at Rathdown.

This was 500 BC.

Pestle and mortar - Choquequirao - Peru

 Mark Rowland via Compfight

Early farmers lived at Rathdown too

By the Middle Ages there were 500 people living at Rathdown.

DSC_2425

Joachim S. Müller via Compfight

The Vikings came by boat and by land from Dublin.

Viking swords
Photo Credit: Arild Nybø via Compfight

Greystones is in County Wicklow.

Wicklow means ‘Viking Meadow’.

85 Haithabu Herbstmesse WMH 02-11-2014 Kai-Erik via Compfight.

Vikings were fierce warriors from the North of Europe.

Later the Normans lived at the castle.

They were skilled soldiers from the North of France.

William's silhouette
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Matthijs via Compfight

 

In 1301, the wild, Wicklow tribes,

the O’Tooles and the O’Byrnes burnt down the castle.

They came on foot and horseback.

Greystones (Na Clocha Liatha in Irish) is a coastal town in County WicklowCreative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

In 1800 no one was living at Greystones.

Described as a ‘wild headland’,

English speaking sailors

sailing on the Irish Sea

used call the area ‘the grey stones’

because of the grey rocks.

In 1825, there were 7 fishing families living there.

Noose Mike Dean via Compfight

The arrival of the railway changed all that.

Now we are a town in the ‘commuter belt’.

People live in Greystones

and commute by train to Dublin city to work.

Lots of tourists come and visit us on the train.

It is a good place to visit and a GREAT place to live.

 

204 of 365 - …upon the mountains like a flame

Fearghal via Compfight