Booterstown in the 1830s

1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, 1837. (The information collected here was submitted by members of the local gentry and clergy of the time).

BOOTERSTOWN, a parish in the half-barony of RATHDOWN, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 3.25 miles from Dublin city centre; containing 2875 inhabitants. This place is situated on the road from Dublin to Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) and Bray (Co. Wicklow), and on the southern coast of Dublin Bay, the shores of which here assume a most interesting and beautifully picturesque appearance. On the opposite side are the finely wooded lands of Clontarf, the mountainous ridge of Howth connected with the main land by a low sandy isthmus, and the islands of Ireland's Eye and Lambay. Of the other side the land swells into the romantic hill of Mount Anville, with slopes richly wooded and embellished with numerous handsome seats, and to the east are the projecting high grounds of the Blackrock covered to the waters edge with trees. The parish comprises 450 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £1589 per annum; the substratum is chiefly limestone and limestone gravel.

Of the numerous handsome seats and villas, many of which are delightfully situated in highly embellished demesnes, commanding beautiful views of the bay of Dublin, and of the mountains, the principal are

  • Seamount, that of the Rt. Hon. J. Doherty, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas;
  • Sans Souci, of the late J. Roe, Esq.;
  • Willow Park, of J. Ferrier, Esq.; Colognes, of I. M. D'Olier, Esq.;
  • Rosemount, of C. Smith, Esq.;
  • Rockville, of W. Murphy, Esq.;
  • Sion Hill of H. Lanauze, Esq.;
  • Rockville House, of C. Hope, Esq.;
  • Hermitage of W. F. Mostyn, Esq.;
  • Clareville, of Sir Ross Mahon, Bart.;
  • Lota, of O'Gorman Mahon, Esq.,
  • Chesterfield of the Rev. W. Betty,
  • Bellview, of J. Gillman, Esq.;
  • Church View, of H. Higinbotham, Esq.;
  • Arbutus Lodge, of W. Cullen, Esq.;
  • South Hill of A. Beytagh, Esq.;
  • Mount Merrion of H. Staines, Esq.;
  • Woodview of Lady Waller;
  • Marino of the Rev. R. H. Nixon;
  • Brook Lawn, of J. McCullagh, Esq.;
  • Graceville, of J. Woods, Esq.;
  • Albion Cottage, of J. C. Bacon, Esq.;
  • Baymount, of Capt. Cockburn;
  • Mereview, of T . Clinch, Esq. ;
  • Woodbine Cottage, of Capt. McNaghton ; and
  • Waltham; of A. Ormsby, Esq.

The village, with those of Williamstown and Blackrock, nearly forms a continuous extent of town; and within the parish are the avenues of Merrion, Cross, Sydney and Williamstown, in each of which are rows of neat houses, with numerous detached villas. This place is much frequented during the summer season on account of its facilities for sea-bathing and its fine strand of smooth sand; numerous lodging-houses have been prepared for the accommodation of visitors; and a cross embankment communicating with the railway, which is carried on an embankment through the sea in front of the town, at a short distance from high water mark, has been constructed for their convenience. The twopenny post has three deliveries daily from the metropolis, and a constant and rapid communication with the city is maintained by the railway and by cars, which ply in both directions. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Dublin, erected out of the parish of Donnybrook by an act of council in 1821, and in the patronage of the Archdeacon of Dublin; the rectory forms part of the corps of the archdeaconry. The tithes amount to £65 0s. 2d., the whole of which is payable to the archdeacon, who allows the perpetual curate £16 per annum; the curacy was also endowed by the late Earl of Pembroke with £1000, since invested in ground rents now producing £73.16s. 10d. The church is a handsome structure, in the later English style, with a square embattled tower with crocketed pinnacles at the angles, and surmounted by a lofty spire; the walls are strengthened with buttresses terminating in pinnacles, and crowned with an embattled parapet. It was erected in 1824, on a piece of ground given by the late Earl of Pembroke in Cross Avenue, at an expense of £5000, of which sum, £2700 was a gift from the late Board of First Fruits; and contains neat monuments to James Digges Latouche and Richard Vererhoyle, Esqrs.

In the R. C. divisions, this parish forms the head of a union or district including also parts of the parishes of Donnybrook, Kill, Monkstown, Rathfarnham, Stillorgan, and Taney. The chapel is a spacious and handsome edifice, erected at the sole expense of the late Earl Fitzwilliam; there are also chapels at Blackrock and Dundrum.

A neat parochial school-house, with apartments for a master and mistress, was built in 1826, near the church, at an expense of £600, defrayed by subscription; and an infants school was built adjoining the former in 1833, in which is kept a parochial lending library ; these schools are supported by subscription and collections at charity sermons. In connection with the R. C. chapel is a girls' s school, to which Mrs Verschoyle contributes £20 per annum. Here is a dispensary; and a Dorcas Society is supported by subscription and collections at charity sermons.

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