David La Touche

A number of places in Greystones
are called after the La Touche Family:
La Touche Park
La Touche Wines
The La Touche Hotel (now demolished and turned into apartments)
The  first of the La Touche Family arrived in Ireland in 1689.
His name was David La Touche.
He was French and a Huguenot.
Huguenots belonged to the  Protestant religion.
They were forced to leave France
after King Louis the Fourteenth began to persecute non-Catholics.
To avoid being arrested David ran away
and joined the army of William of Orange  the King of Holland.
David was only fourteen years old.
William of Orange ended up in Ireland fighting
James the Second of England
in the famous Battle of the Boyne.
David La Touche fought at that battle and his side,
the side of William of Orange won.
David stayed in Ireland and became a silk and poplin merchant.
(Poplin, like silk is a material).
Lots of his army friends needed someone to look after their money
so David La Touche set up a bank
and this became the first bank in Ireland.
You can read more about the history of the La Touche family
HERE on the La Touche Legacy website.

The Middle Ages – The Village at Rathdown

Knaresborough Castle DoorCreative Commons License Stephen Bowler via Compfight

The village at Rathdown did well from 1308 under the Normans:

the Le Brun and then the FitzGerald families.

In 1534, a castle,

20 houses,

a watermill

and a fresh water spring were recorded at Rathdown.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Leo Swan reported that photographs taken from the air showed signs that there was once a large village there.

In the Middle Ages there were about five hundred people living at Rathdown, and further south at Greystones was deserted.