Click on this LINK to read about the Grand Hotel in Greystones. Later this hotel was called the La Touche
The La Touche is now being turned into apartments.
… some people thought it was NOT a good idea?
We LOVE Greystones Library and were very surprised to hear this.
You can read more about when Greystones Library was first built
and what people said HERE on the ‘Our Wicklow Heritage’ website
in an article called ‘The Library That Wasn’t Welcome’
by local historian Rosemary Raughter.
This is the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones. Holy Rosary is beside our school.
In 1895 Bishop Donnelly, the Parish Priest of Bray and Greystones,
rented land for the church from Mr. La Touche for £25 per year.
At first the church was an iron pre-fab.
This building was destroyed by a storm in 1903.
A wooden chapel was built by Mr. Kinlen.
He began work on the building that is there today began in 1903.
Early photos show a church with a copper spire.
This was removed by the builder Bill Lendrum
because it was thought it might topple over.
You can read more about the history of the church
in the Centenary Parish Magazine 2008, available on the Greystones Guide HERE
and HERE on the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society
You can read about the inside of the church HERE on the Holy Rosary website.
There are beautiful stained glass windows in Holy Rosary Church.
Two of them are by Evie Hone.
The work was done in 1948.
Click on THIS LINK to learn more about Evie Hone.
A Project from 1995 (approximately)
by then students. Alison O’Doherty, Lorna Power & Claire Reade
A tenant by the name of Thomas O’Mahony was one of the previous owners of Applewood Heights and St.John’s. The fee for the keep of the land was just a pound a week, a fortune at the time.
In later years the land of Applewood was owned by the Evans family, then by the Taylors who used the land to grow barley. In 1970 a group of German Scouts camped in Taylor’s field.
Louis McGuire was the auctioneer who sold the land on behalf of the Taylor family to various builders. Paddy Hickey provided the planning permission for the builders.
The first house was built is now No.36.
The Beginning of the Heights
Applewood attracted many young couples from Dublin. It was also a new opportunity for the people of Northern Ireland to get away from the war and bloodshed.
However, the first residents near the top of the estate were unfortunate due to low water pressure. This only enable them to use water at night. During the day it was unavailable.
At the moment there are 194 houses in Applewood. In the past 5 years 10 new houses (Applewood Drive) have been built.
The original selling price for the house was (according to locals) £8750, a great expense at that time. Today the houses are priced at £85,000.
The Residents Association
The Residents Association have worked hard resolving the following:
Two of the houses were built on sandpits.
One of the greens was a muddy swamp and while building one of the houses, a bulldozer sank into the swamp. It was pulled out by two other bulldozers.
Under the estate like most of Greystones is rock.
Applewood has always been said to have been an orchard, but in fact it was a barley field.
The estate of Applewood is now in its 22nd year.
Applewood was one of the first major estates in Greystones.’
St. Crispin’s Cell was built around 1530AD.
It is believed it was the chapel attached
to Rathdown Castle.
St. Crispin is the patron saint of shoemakers.
You can read more about St. Crispin’s Cell
Greystones Tidy Towns Committee
tidied the area up and it now looks
You can read about that HERE
and there is a You Tube video on Greystones
Guide showing St. Crispin’s Cell HERE.
Killincarrig Castle was a manor house
built about 1620.
This manor seemed a popular place
for both soldiers and rebels to stay over the centuries.
During the Eleven Years War (1641-1653)
the castle became a stronghold
by the Catholic Confederates.
After that in 1649, legend has it that Oliver Cromwell
an English leader came to stay.
He was considered to be a hero in England,
but a villain in Ireland, responsible for
great loss of life in Ireland.
The legend says that Cromwell
spent a night in Killincarrig Castle
and that he posted some troops there
while he went south in search of his horse
which had been stolen by the Irish rebels.
On the same trip, he ransacked Kindlestown.
Later in history, during the 1798 rebellion,
the Irish rebels hid there after to avoid getting caught!
Some of us have visited this ruin.
It is in a lady’s back garden and is a protected structure.
Evidence of Killincarrig’s past has been found
such as old muskets, pistol balls, gunpowder measures
and other such equipment which were found in
and around the castle.
We think we are lucky to live in a place
that has such a rich and interesting history.
Lots of great information about Killincarrig Castle
on Greystones Guide. Check out THIS link.
As always please supervise children online.
The internet is a portal to the outside world.
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!
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.
In the Bronze age King Heremon came
and built a fortification
in this sheltered spot in 1699BC.
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.
You can read some background to that story and how
Dermot married his daughter to a Norman warrior
called Strongbow HERE
The Normans 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
The MacGiollamocholomog clan later
sensibly changed their names to Fitz Dermot.
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.
However it was rebuilt again from 1308
by other Norman families.
In 1534, a castle,
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.
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.
Aerial photographs of the fields
where the castle once stood show
outlines of ancient fields, houses, paths and roads.
In 1897, a man made harbour was built.
It was a disaster.
It was built facing North/North East.
Storms came in from the North and North East.
Boats were smashed against the harbour wall
The insurance companies wouldn’t insure a boat in Greystones harbour.
So the harbour was empty of fishing boats.
The harbour was used for small boats
belonging to summer visitors and water sports.
Then a harbour wall was built
and in 1968 the base of the Kish lighthouse
was towed into the harbour to provide more shelter for the boats.
But the big fishing boats never returned.
Then in the new millennium there were plans to build
a marina costing more than 300 million.
There were plans for a new harbour and beach,
a public park and a boardwalk,
new shops and apartments
and new facilities for water sports.
But the recession came and the money ran out.
The new harbour is built and recently a sailing club was added.
Slowly but surely it is turning from a concrete place
to a place with trees and places to sit.
This history of Greystones harbour has been
a story of a battle against the sea and plans that have gone wrong.
We found information about the harbour in
A Centenary Booklet for St.Patrick’s Church (1964) by Samuel French
We also used ‘Greystones; Its Past’ written by James Seery in 1989
This project is about Greystones Harbour.
The Centenary Magazine for St Patrick’s Church from 1964 said that from 1939-1964
“The harbour having ceased to serve any commercial purpose has fallen into decay. The groyne has gone.”
“What is a groyne?” you may ask.
It is a sea wall built to stop erosion.
But what is erosion?
It is the gradual breaking down of the land, in this case the coast.
About one-third of the pier had been washed away.
The boat slip and the dock was all that was left.
But from 1954 work was done so the rest of the pier was safe,
and the seafront looked good for tourists.
So you can understand what had happened to the harbour,
we need to go back a lot further in time.
There was always a natural harbour at Greystones.
It was the only safe harbour for fishermen to pull into from Bray to Wicklow.
But a harbour wasn’t built there to start with.
There wasn’t even a town or a village where the natural harbour was.
The nearest village was north at Rathdown.
There was lots of herring to be caught at Greystones.
It was called a ‘good fishing place’ not a town or a village.
Over the years there has been a lot of erosion by the sea between Greystones and Bray.
A lot of the coast was washed away.
Fishermen and the people of Greystones wanted a harbour
to help the fishing industry,
so that they could import coal
and Bangor slates to build for the tourists who came to sail and fish.
“Between 1885 and 1897 the Commissioners of Public Works constructed at a cost of £20,678 14s. 8d:
1. A concrete pier 200 feet long measured on the wharf coping and 35 feet wide exclusive of the parapet. Two flights of steps were provided in the wharf and six mooring posts.
2. A concrete boat slip 156 feet long or thereabouts and 20 feet wide.
3. An inner dock for small boats around which the approach road to the pier was diverted.
4. A concrete groyne 345 feet long or thereabouts.”
Very quickly after the pier was built it became obvious that the harbour gave no safety to boats.
Its entrance faced north northeast. Storms usually came from this direction, so that large waves rolled right into the harbour and put the boats moored or anchored there in danger. In storm force winds they were trapped and could not put to sea to ride out the storm.
On 14th October 1892, there was a storm. Three men ran out on the pier to cast off the mooring ropes of a schooner called ‘The Mersey’, so that she could be beached. As they were returning a huge wave broke over the parapet and the three of them were swept into the harbour and drowned. This tragedy put all Greystones into mourning as nearly every person was related to the victims of the disaster.
Again in October 1911 three schooners, the ‘Vellenhellie’, the ‘Reciprocity’, and the ‘ Federation’ were tied up in the harbour when an unexpected storm arose. They had to be scuttled or run ashore and were all wrecked. Luckily the crews were rescued by the rocket apparatus.
Since that date no insurance could be got for boats coming to Greystones and the pier was left to fall into disrepair. This meant that the local fishermen couldn’t to compete with the trawlers landing their catches much nearer to the Dublin markets. Meanwhile Greystones was developing from a small fishing village to a seaside resort. Greystones men become tradesmen and builders instead of fishermen.
We found information about the harbour in
We also used ‘Greystones; Its Past written by James Seery in 1989
This used be a lifeboat house now it is Joe Sweeney’s Chipper.
We would recommend a trip to the chipper.
Photos by Leon.
The convent was built in 1906.
In 2015 the convent was sold to the Department of Education.
There are plans to use the convent to give us more room in which to learn and to play.
In 2013, while an extension was being build to the school,
a number of classes went back in time and went to school in the convent.
Click below to see…