Gone but not forgotten (Part 1)
This is the first of a number of articles which we plan to publish over the next few months recording the houses and other buildings which are no longer with us but which formed part of the vanishing fabric of Killiney. This piece concentrates on Glenalua Road and the Village which have seen many recent changes and significant new additions. What is very striking is the gradual erosion of the commercial core of the Village evidenced in the findings below. What was once a thriving but small commercial centre consisting of a number of restaurants, shops, pub, post office, hotel, telephone exchange and numerous dairies reflects the improvements in public and private transport and other factors including the increasing demand for housing in the area which has played out over most of the country in the last few decades. Over time we will continue this project working down the hill from the Village, as we are doing with the existing houses of the area. Thanks to the current occupants of many of these properties who have provided information including photographs etc. as this adds greatly to very sparse material available. If anyone has further information on the houses in this article or ideas for properties to be included in future posts we would love to hear from you. You can email us from the contact page.
Eagle House as it was originally called was built c. 1873 and later became the village Post Office. In Thom’s Directory of 1975 the Post Office is being run by Mrs. Murphy and the adjoining Rita’s sweet shop is occupied by R. Heffernan. For a considerable time it was known as Quaid’s shop and post office and was run by Dave and Una Quaid. It was a simple two storey double fronted terraced house opening directly onto the space shared with Talbot House and The Druid’s Chair Pub. An advert dated July 1896 for the sale of Eagle House and Talbot House refers to six cottages, known as 1-6 Eagle Cottages, which were part of the Eagle House property. The cottages, three of which were tenanted at the time, were ‘usually let to weekly tenants.’ We believe these cottages are among the houses which can be seen in close proximity to Eagle House in the 1888 map below and would appear to predate nos 1-5 Talbot Cottages which currently exist on Talbot Road. Eagle House and Talbot House are described as ‘two storey houses and are fitted with shop fronts.’ Permission was granted in 2005 for a development consisting of the demolition of the post office with facade to be retained, and the associated residential unit at Eagle House. The redevelopment into a scheme of 2 own door apartments of 3 storeys consisting of 1 No. 2 bedroom unit, and 1 No. 3 bedroom unit with integral garage for 2 cars.
Talbot House was built c. 1873 by John Ryan who also built Eagle House. The property appears along with Eagle House and The Victoria Arms Hotel in the 1888 Ordnance Survey map of the district. It derives it’s name from the landlord to much of the property in this part of Killiney, the Talbots de Malahide. An advert for the sale of Talbot House and Eagle House dated September 1890 states that both properties were held under lease from the Honourable Richard Talbot to James Ryan for the term of 70 years from 1st November 1873, at the yearly rent of £6 sterling, payable half yearly. The property is described as a Licensed House and Premises known as Talbot House with a ‘Superior Spirit Grocery, with Porter Licence.’ The licence was a Spirit Grocer’s and Retail Beer Licence for consumption off the premises. The landlord has intimated his intention of extending the lease to 99 years from 1890 at an increased rent.
In 1895 the premises was acquired by a Mr. Featherstone at auction but sold again in 1896. The property seems to have changed hands on many occasions around this period.
Thom’s Directory of 1940 lists Thomas Breen, Plastering Contractor as occupant. In 1975 it was an antique shop which was run by a Mrs. Burke. It was Chez Sylvio’s Restaurant for a brief period around 1986 or so before it’s change of tenancy to Rockwell’s Pizza Restaurant which ceased trading around 1995. The building was eventually demolished to make way for the new Talbot House infill residential development.
Victoria Arms Hotel
The earliest mention of the hotel unearthed to date is an advert for the lease of the premises which appeared in the Freeman’s Journal in March 1853. It describes the property ‘lately in the occupation of Mr. Lawlor. These Concerns have a Retail Licence attached, and are well adapted for carrying on the Tavern and Provision Business in this neighbourhood; contains Large Shop, Public Rooms, &c., and every other accommodation necessary for the purpose.’ In 1858 The Post Office Dublin Directory And Calendar lists a B. Larney as owner of the Victoria Tavern and the same B. Larney is recorded as proprietor of the Victoria Hotel in 1865. Bernard Larney is named as the owner in September 1866 in an advert placed by the Landed Estates Court for the sale of the House and Premises known as the Victoria Hotel. The property was held under a lease dated 26th November 1856 for 70 years. A subsequent advert which appeared in The Irish Times in October 1866 states ‘that beautifully fitted up Establishment, known as the Victoria Hotel, Killiney, to which is attached a Grocery concern, both of which are in full working order, but the proprietor is obliged, through ill health, to give up business.’ However Thom’s Directory of 1868 continues to list B. Larney at the Victoria Inn, Killiney. A John Donegan appears to have taken over from Bernard Larney c.1867 and continues to be mentioned as proprietor of the Killiney Inn/Tavern and Hotel up until 1884.
The 1888 map shows that the local Post Office was housed at the premises at that time. From Thom’s Directory 1887-1892 Peter McKeever was the proprietor of Killiney Post Office and this service along with the grocery store and hotel all appeared to operate from this location. The lease to Peter McKeever from Edward Lister K. Talbot is dated November 1888. Peter McKeever is mentioned as the proprietor of Victoria Hotel and Restaurant in a newspaper advert of 1895, he died in July 1897. The report of his funeral mentions the chief mourners, his sons Masters Ernest James and Louis. The advertisement dated 1911 from Porter’s Directory states that the hotel was ‘Established Upwards of Half a Century’ although the 1853 advert would suggest a figure closer to 60 years. An advert from The Freeman’s Journal of June 1865 drawing the attention of Grocers and Vintners to the latest Patent Lever Porter Machine mentions the Killiney Hotel as one of the establishments where it may be seen at work.
Mrs. Mary Maxwell (previously McKeever) who is identified as the proprietor of the hotel in 1911 was also the sub-postmistress from 1912 until at least 1940. In 1912 she is also listed as the proprietor of the hotel and is further described as grocer and wine merchant. Mary Maxwell was Peter McKeever’s widow who later married William Maxwell, an Apothecary. In the 1901 census she had seven children, all McKeevers, living with her. Thom’s Directory records her involvement with Plasnewyd (aka Rock Lodge) from 1912 (which she was also running as a hotel around this time) until at least 1930.
A Thomas Shine is named as proprietor of the hotel in January 1923 when he was summoned for a breach of the licensing laws which was alleged to have taken place on Christmas Eve the previous year. The case was dismissed. In the same newspaper article a case against a Mr. Barre, Killiney, for opening his licensed premises on Christmas day was also dismissed. It is possible that Barre’s premises may be the pub which now houses The Druid’s Chair public house. In November 1924 reports of a court case mention the defendant, Mrs. Catherine McGeown as having purchased Victoria Arms Hotel , ‘which was since sold.’ Thom’s 1924 lists her as proprietress of the hotel. An advert for the sale of the property along with the adjoining residence ‘Hillview’ (now St. Abbey’s) appeared in The Irish Times on 30th June 1924.
It is likely that John Clancy acquired the property in 1924 as we have come across evidence of a counterpart lease dated April 1925 John Clancy to Nora O’Callaghan Duff. John Clancy is named as the hotel proprietor in 1928, 1930 and 1934 appears in the photo taken outside the premises c.1928.
In 1943 the sub-postmistress is Miss H. McKeever, this is Hilda who was the daughter of Mary Maxwell, and it is not clear if the post office was still operating from the hotel building at this stage. John Rush is named as the hotel proprietor in 1940 and 1943 and was living in Bayview (now Killiney Stores) at the same time. This is the last Thom’s Directory record of The Victoria Arms Hotel available to us at this time due to Covid restrictions (update to follow). A lease associated with the property states that it was previously known as ‘The Balcony’ and there is mention of ‘The Balcony of St. Martin’s Cottages’ in the deeds. Thom’s 1950-54 lists a Mrs. Murray at ‘The Balcony Cafe.’ A William Doyle is listed as occupier of St. Martin’s Cottage in 1975. The deeds of the property mention a Copy Assignment March 1970 Diana Muriel Kellock to Killiney Inns Ltd. The property is leased in 1972 to Henri Rolland when it became Restaurant Rolland. The lease was later assigned to Henri and Helena Rolland in 1978. In 1987 it was acquired by Catherine and Spencer Wong and opened as Jades Chinese Restaurant which was run by the Wongs until it closed down in 1995. This property was demolished a few years later, c.1998, to make way for the Killiney Hill Plaza apartment development. You can read more about the Victoria Arms Hotel here.
Tenerife (now The Lookout)
Tenerife was a two storey flat roofed residence constructed c. mid 1960 and was built on a rocky outcrop just off Glenalua Road. It was demolished a few years ago to make way for the recently erected dwelling which has been named The Lookout. Thom’s Directory lists occupant in 1975 as Eileen Crangle.
Aisling (now Knockbo)
Thom’s Directory 1975 occupant listed as Comdt. Fergus Fleming.
In May 2005 planning permission was granted for the demolition of the existing two storey house and the construction of a new two storey split level single family dwelling. The architects were O’Donnell & Tuomey.
Finchory (now Blue Ridge)
In the sales brochure dated September 2002 Finchory is described as a 3 bed single storey dwelling of 1,064 sq.ft. The bungalow supported on dramatic concrete stilts took advantage of the magnificent views over Killiney Bay and the plot area is 0.6 acre. We understand that the house was built c.1964. In March 2005 planning permission was granted for the demolition of the existing 3 bedroom house (single storey raised over car port) and double garage and construction of new 5 bedroom house (two storey split level ground floor and basement floor), double garage and garden pool set into hill. The architects were Brazil Lohan.
Thom’s Directory 1975 occupant listed as Cecil E. Adams
Unfortunately we have not been able to source a photograph of the original 3 storey house which was demolished in 2006 but if anything turns up we will post it here. In July 2005 planning permission was granted for the demolition of an existing 3-storey 4-bedroom detached dwelling and double garage and the construction of a replacement 3-storey detached 6-bedroom dwelling, with roof terrace and balconies, together with a detached 2-storey double garage and a 12 m by 6 m outdoor swimming pool. The architects were Conroy Crowe Kelly.
Read about Hendre here