Heritage Timeline


Chronological History of Rathcoole

Jonathan Swift connection with Rathcoole

In 1713 Dean Swift (portrait below) who was waiting his promised appointment to Dean of St Patricks Cathedral wrote to the letter below to the then Archbishop William King of Dublin (portrait below).


1744-1826 Mary Mercer Trust Charter School

In the main street in Rathcoole stands Glebe House now in poor condition awaiting planning decisions re its future, many remember it as the Winter Home of Duffy’s Circus and Mc Cormac Amusements in the 60’s and 70’s .and before that, as the name suggests it was the Church of Ireland Rectory for the vicar of Rathcoole Church for many years. However the building has much longer and more interesting history, it was in fact the location of Rathcoole’s Mary Mercer Trust Charter school for Girls from 1744 till 1826 prior to their move to Castleknock.

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Rathcoole, Dublin. Year 1840.

Historical Description

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis
RATHCOOLE, a post-town and parish, in the barony of UPPERCROSS, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 8 miles (S. W.) from Dublin, on the road to Naas; containing 1409 inhabitants, of which number, 602 are in the town. This place, anciently called "Radcull," appears from, various records to have been incorporated prior to the time of Hen. III., and to have had burgesses. In the 24th of that reign (1240), it is recorded that "Lucas, Archbishop of Dublin, grants to the burgesses of Radcull common of pasture and turbary in the mountain of Slescol with his men of Newcastle near Lyons, at 4s. per annum."

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1846 Rathcoole Dispensary Report

1844-1864 Griffiths Valuation Rathcoole Main Street

People who lived on Main Street village of Rathcoole 1844-64 Griffiths Valuation
Map of Rathcoole main street land area is marked as area 72 on the map below

Rathcoole in 1844 had a National School at Dublin end of Town opposite Church sponsored by David La Touche and a Glebe house beside the church. A Dispensary with doctor funded by chartable donations was located in centre of town. At Nass end of town, Police barracks, animal pound and poitin still which was a lodging house for Drovers can be seen. St Bridgets well (St bridget was said to have drunk from the well on her way to Nass) can be seen marked in the grounds at the rear of the then vacant Mercer school being rented by William Borne from Mercer Charity Trust. Below is extract from ledger, showing who resised in each house, who owned the property, details of the holding and land size in acres, roods and perches.

1852 Rathcoole Thoms Almanac Directory

Winifred Mabel Letts (1882- 1972)

Winifred Mabel Letts (1882- 1972) was a poet, novelist, and playwright married to William Verschoyle of Saggart. (She is buried in Rathcoole Churchyard).
(Article by Mervyn Ennis, Saggart Heritage group)
Winifred Mabel Letts was born on 10 February 1882 in Broughton Salford, Manchester of an English father (Rector Ernest Letts) a clergyman, and an Irish mother (Isabel Mary Ferrier). She spent many childhood holidays in Knockmaroon, located on the edge of the Chapelizod side of the Phoenix Park, Dublin, which was her mother's home. Winifred was educated initially in Bromley in Kent and at 16’ she persuaded her parents to allow her to move from Bromley boarding school to attend Alexandra College in Dublin.
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Fatal Altercation in Saggart

Irish Times report
16 june 1891


1913-1921 Record of Doctor Clark

Coolamber and Beechwood Estate Local History Remembered

By Bill Attley (1960-2020)

The lands that both Coolamber and Beechwood lawns estates are built on, were formally owned by the Shields family. Of which there was two sisters and one brother ( Reggie, Maud, Florry) who also owned the land where Maple Grove was built. (a small portion of these lands belonged to the Whelan family who were related to the Shields family and who also had the land at the other side of the N7, which runs down Tay Lane and ended opposite Taffee’s.)
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A monument for Two Communities

By Maurice O'Connell

In July 1997, South Dublin County Council and its consultants, Artworking, invited three directors
of national visual art organisations to propose artists for two Per Cent for Art commissions. A new
park under construction between Rathcoole and Saggart and St. Finians Park, Lucan would provide
sites for these works. The Council intended these as a pilot project that might lead to longer term
public art programming. Creative engagement with the site and an ability to effectively engage
with recipient communities were the main criteria. A shortlisting and presentation process led to
the selection of Patricia McKenna and Maurice O'Connell.
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The Rathcoole Playing Fields

A brief History by Paddy Gavin (1960-2020)

It was 1960 I came to live in Dublin, and it was 1962 before I ever passed through the village of Rathcoole. On the main street then, there were three road junctions, the first as one traveled south westwards lead into Stoney lane. The next was Tay lane junction leading north towards Newcastle and third junction led to Kilteel as well as to the National school. Rathcoole then was generally described as a country village, with a population of about 400 some 10 miles from Dublin city, on the Cork road but within County Dublin with its main street over 400 feet above sea level.
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Colemanstown, Blackchurch

Mud Cottage, a casualty of progress.


One of the casualties of progress, in terms of the current road works on the Dublin-Naas Dual Carriage [N7], was a little mud-walled cottage which nestled just below the level of the road a few hundred yards north of the Athgoe junction at Colmanstown, Co.Dublin.
I have already dealt with the history of the old castle and graveyard nearby in the volume LVI, No 1 [Spring 2000] of this journal.
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General History Documents

St. Bridgets Well Map

First Transatlantic Flight From Ireland to USA

First East-West Atlantic Crossing, Bremen Aircraft

In 1928 on April 12 the name South Dublin runway Baldonnel Airdrome echoed across the world when Commandant James Fitzmaurice joined Baron Húnefeld and Hermann Kóhl in their Junckers W33 “Bremen Aircraft” as they took off on what would be the first east-west aircraft crossing of the Atlantic.
Almost 37 hours later the trip landed to a rapturous welcome on Greenly Island in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Newfoundland, Canada.


History of Rathcoole Community Centre and Council

Kennedy Family Johnstown Estate History

The Kennedy baronets owned 1,447 acres of land in county dublin.

JOHNSTOWN KENNEDY HOUSE, Rathcoole, County Dublin, was a plain, three-storey Georgian house.

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Rathcoole Historical Walking Tour

Walking Tour:
Taking in the village’s Ecclesiastical, revolutionary and natural places of interest.
Distance: Approximately 2.5 km.
Our first stop in the walk is ① Rathcoole Park which is accessible either from the Beechwood Lawns housing estate beside the bus stop, or either of two entrances opposite Avoca. If time permits, the park is worth investigating; among its attractions is a pair of interconnected lakes fed by the Camac river.
Exit the park at the gates beyond the lakes, head back to the main road and turn left heading into the village for 240 metres.
On the left will be revealed the rear of the historic, and now sadly derelict,
② Rathcoole House.

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Rathcoole Church Clondalkin Parish Book Extract 3

Chapter Seven

Rathcoole Village and Church

Tallaght Church

This chapter deals briefly with the village of Rathcoole; St. John's sister church in Rathcoole and her clerics over the years; and St. Maelruain's church, Tallaght, formerly in a Union with Clondalkin and Rathcoole.

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Historical Graves in Main Street Graveyard

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Notes on Place-names, Topography and Traditions.

By Liam Ua Broin, Member.

OLD maps of the Rathcoole neighbourhood, a list of which is given on pages 96-97, have preserved a number of local place-names : some of these are still remembered, others have been altogether lost. In the following paper I have noted the more interesting of these names, and an attempt has been made to offer an explanation of some of them ; I have inserted some local traditions, and details about such matters as the building of roads and bridges. The reader may be referred to the Ordnance Survey Letters for County Dublin for information collected in the year 1838 by Eugene O Curry about some of the antiquarian remains in the district.

Based on the Ordnance survey map


Historical Notes

The Barony of Newcastle & Upper Cross in the County of Dublin

Saggard, Dublin

1656 rathcoole parish map notes


Historical Maps

Line of Pale Fortifications 1490

1588 map Abahram Ortilius

1656 Down Survey Rathcoole parish Original

Ormsbys Map of Rathcoole 1792

1760 roque map rathcoole sm

1778 tayor road map rathcoole

St. Bridgets Well Map

Griffiths Valuation 1844-1864 Rathcoole Main Street map

Click here for the Historical Map of Rathcoole.
Click here for the Historical Census link.



Pictorial History of Rathcoole, Saggart, Brittas and Newcastle Part 1

Intermediate Certificate History Project on Rathcoole

South Dublin County Scrap Book

History of the County of Dublin

A History of Saggart and Rathcoole Parishes

Mercer's School Rathcoole & Castleknock