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Killiney History | July 7, 2022

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Buona Vista & Bella Vista

Buona Vista & Bella Vista
NameBuona Vista & Bella Vista
Previous NamesTower Hall
AddressKilliney Hill Road
Year Builtc.1864
On 1888 mapYes
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 | author

This semi-detached pair of Victorian houses no longer exist although the site is well known to locals who have had to endure the sight of the partially constructed modern house which has being lying derelict for over a decade.


Peter Pearson mentions in relation to Marino on Killiney Hill Road: ‘The original house was occupied by a Joshua Cheator, or Chaytor, who owned a substantial amount of land in Killiney and built a number of Victorian houses including St Anne’s, Buenavista, Abbeylands and Mentone. Cheator had previously lived at Purbeck Lodge in Monkstown where he had constructed four houses.’ He goes on to comment: ‘All of these large Victorian houses were built to reflect the status and position of the family that lived there. These houses required an imposing front, a grand hall and a well-furnished drawing room. A larger residence with a couple of acres needed a gate lodge and a winding avenue which brought the visitor to a broad gravel sweep in front of the hall door. Whether the architecture was Italianate or Gothic did not matter greatly. Many of the earlier houses were plain, so it was common for wealthy Victorian owners to add porticos, stucco enrichments, cornices and brackets.’


Owners over the years from Thom’s Directory

YearBella VistaBuona Vista
1868Henry Wigham EsqEdward Courtenay, solicitor
1880Edward Courtenay Esq
1884Mrs. Courtenay
1887Vacant
1888Ferdinand McVeagh
1894C.P. Coghill Esq, JP
1898Mrs. WighamEdward Dowden
1900Jas. C. Bennett EsqMrs. Mackesy
1905-1907Mrs. Lefroy
1910Thos. O’Farrell, solicitorReginald Meagher BA
1912-1917Thos, Patrick and E.M.J. O’Farrell
1920-1921Harold Ferens
1923-24Vacant
1926Mrs. J.M. O’BeirneMaurice Lombard
1928
1930Vacant
1932Mrs. H.Y. Manders
1934Richard Charles Bolger Kerin
1936Vacant
1937-1940Major Rowland H. Lane
1943Vacant(Destroyed by fire)
1947VacantVacant
1950-1952New house called Tower Hall (Hill?)Major Cadell (Buona Vista, Latamore?)
1950-1954John J. Devaney
1960Tower HallEthna Devaney
1975Tower HallJohn Devaney
1975Tower CottageMary Murphy

Houses destroyed by fire, from a history of Killiney dated c.1956

Edward Courtenay, Solicitor built Buona Vista in which he lived, and a little later Bellavista, two fine semi-detached houses, commanding a choice view of the bay. Both were burned down in 1942. For some time the site remained idle, but later the present Tower Hill (Hall) was built where stood the ruins of the former houses, and a smaller house (Tower Cottage) in a corner of the grounds.


Some newspaper cuttings

The earliest mention of Buona Vista is from a newspaper article in 1866 which mentions a Mrs. Courtenay as resident. Another newspaper notice in 1886 mentions Bella Vista.

Bella Vista

Birth notice from Dublin Weekly Nation 1st September 1866
Notice from newspaper in July 1896

Buona Vista

Newspaper Notice dated April 1886

Memorial to Edward Courtenay who died in 1883

Memorial to Edward Courtenay in Holy Trinity Church, Killiney

Detail from 1888 Ordnance Survey sheet XXVI-17

Drawings from The Irish Architectural Archive

After the fire of 1942 Buona Vista was surveyed by Wm. Mitchell Architects in order to assist with the restoration works. It is assumed that this work did not proceed and the pair of houses were replaced with a new house called Tower Hall which was built c.1950. These drawings are the only records that we have managed to locate so far for these houses and were found in the Irish Architectural Archive.

Survey plans and sections by Wm. Mitchell Architects 1942. Courtesy of The Irish Architectural Archive.
Elevations as surveyed in 1942. Courtesy of The Irish Architectural Archive.
Letter from the Quantity Surveyors to the Architects regarding the restoration works at Buona Vista in 1942. Courtesy of The Irish Architectural Archive.

Tower Hall and Tower Cottage

We have very little information on these two houses (other than names of occupants and an aerial photograph, below) which replaced Buona Vista and Bella Vista in 1950. These houses were subsequently replaced by the partially built modern structure which has remained in a state of ruin for many years now. Plans are underway to demolish this structure and to construct a new residence.

Tower Hall c.2007 shortly before demolition

Buona Vista today

The Celtic Tiger Buona Vista abandoned and now vandalised as existing in May 2022. Plans have been lodged to demolish this structure and to replace it with a new residence.