Cruagh RATHFARNHAM 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).

CRUAGH, or CREVAGH, a parish, in the barony of NEWCASTLE, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 6 miles (S.) from Dublin city ; containing 1216 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Owendugher a branch of the Dugher or Dodder river, by which it is separated from the parish of Whitechurch ; and comprises 4762.50 statute acres, of which 2400 are mountain including about 400 acres of good bog.

  • Killakee, the residence of S. White, Esq., is a spacious mansion, situated in a tastefully embellished demesne with a well-wooded glen through which a mountain stream rushes with great force over its rocky bed ; and surrounded by a winding road, several miles in circuit, commanding some magnificent views of the city and bay of Dublin, with the hill of Howth, Ireland's Eye, Lambay Island ; of the mountains of Mourne in the distance, which are distinctly visible in clear weather and of a beautiful country in the foreground.

There are numerous handsome villas, with tastefully disposed grounds, commanding fine views of the city and bay of Dublin and the country adjacent. Among these are

  • Woodtown House, the residence of the Hon. Chief Baron Joy ;
  • Orlagh, of N. Callwell, Esq. ;
  • Rockbrook, of Mrs. Fry ;
  • Tibradon, of J. Jones, Esq. ;
  • Cloragh, of C. Davis Esq. ;
  • Woodbine Lodge, of T. B. Smithson Esq. ;
  • Springfield, of R. Jones, Esq. ;
  • Woodtown, of Mrs. Collins ;
  • Air Park, of J. Delaney, Esq. ;
  • Spring Vale, of R. Sherlock, Esq.;
  • Mount Venus House, of H. R. Armstrong, Esq. ;
  • Mount Michael, of M. Walsh Esq. ;
  • Laurel Hill, of W. Bourk, Esq. ;
  • Summerville, of J. T. Moran Esq. ;
  • Woodtown, of J. Dodd, Esq. ;
  • Hayfield, of W. Scott, Esq. ; and
  • Prospect Hill, of J. Dodd Esq.

There are four paper-mills, only one of which is at present at work, and employs about 60 persons. Two woollen manufactories have been established. the chief articles are friezes, flannels, kersey, coating and blankets, and the number of persons employed at present is 100, though a few years since, when in full work, more than 600 were engaged.

The great military road commences in this parish, taking a course of 37 miles through wild mountainous district previously deemed incapable of improvement, and opening a communication with Wicklow and the south and west parts of the country.

It is a rectory, in the diocese of Dublin forming part of the union of Tallaght; the tithes amount to £181.17s. 6d.

In the Roman Catholic divisions, it forms part of the union or district of Rathfarnham.

On the grounds of Mount Venus are the remains of a cromlech, the table stone of which has fallen; and of the upright stones on which it was supported, one only is standing, the others lying near it. The whole is of granite ; the table stone is 19 feet long, 10 feet broad, and 5 feet thick; and the pillars are about 10 feet in height. The burial ground of the old church, now a ruin, is still much used.