Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Killiney History | July 16, 2024

Scroll to top



AddressKilliney Avenue
Exists todayYes
On 1888 mapYes
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 | author


This large Victorian house which was built on a substantial site off Killiney Avenue falls largely within the description of a particular style of house being erected in Killiney in the mid to late nineteenth century. Clonard does not appear on the Gaynor estate map of 1874 although the beginnings of Killiney Avenue can be made out. The first mention of the house which we have come across to date is its appearance in Thom’s Directory of 1887, the occupier is listed as Crosbie Goff Esq. It is likely the house was built c.1880.

Description by Peter Pearson

Many large detached houses of a purely Victorian type were constructed in Killiney in the second half of the nineteenth century, and good examples of these include Marathon, Lismellow, Fortlands, Cliff House and Montebello, all of which are to be found on Killiney Hill Road. Similar houses were built on Killiney Avenue, a new road of the 1850s which linked the residential area of Killiney with the church in Ballybrack. Such houses include Laragh, Clonard and Suquehanna.

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. Often a billiard room would be added at the back of the house.

Aerial view of Clonard and its gate lodge c.2007

Occupiers as listed in Thom’s Directory

1884-1905Goff, Crosbie Esq.
1907-1920Jeffcott, W. (J.P.)
1923-1940Butler, John P.
1943-1950Roche, Mrs. K.
1960Roden, Dr.
Incomplete listing

Crosbie Goff Esq. and son Charles Edward Goff.

Memorial in St. Matthias Church, Ballybrack

The earliest identified occupant of the house was Crosbie Goff. Goff was a Commissioner of Killiney and Ballybrack Township and was re-elected to this position on 16th October 1897 along with Mr. J. Bramley JP, Capt. E.P. Stewart JP and S.S. Waterhouse. Crosbie Goff was born in 1840 and died in 1904. In 1907 his widow is listed as living in Marino House, Killiney at which point W. Jeffcott had become the new occupier of Clonard. Mrs. Goff was born in 1847 and died in 1924.

Their youngest son, Charles Edward Goff was born in Killiney on 22nd January 1889 and was killed in action at Guillemont in 1916 aged 27. The memorial at Thiepval, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France confirms his death on 8th August 1916. He is recorded as Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edward Goff, M.C. The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) Commanding the1st Battalion. Son of John Crosbie Goff and Theodosia Goff, formerly Stoker, of Clonard, Killiney, Co. Dublin.

A sad incident

A report in the Wicklow News-Letter and County Advertiser of 25th September 1897 details the story of an attempted suicide near Killiney railway station. The unfortunate girl, aged about 18 and named Jaggie, was the Swiss born governess in the emploment of Mr. Goff of Clonard. Fortunately the driver of the train managed to halt the engine about one foot from her body and her life was saved. At a sitting of the Petty Sessions at Cabinteely she was certified as insane by Dr. Wright and was sent to the Richmond Lunatic Asylum. We have not been able to establish what became of her after this. Given the date of the incident it is very likely that she was the nanny of Charles Edward Goff who would have been 8 years of age at this time.

Report from the Wicklow News-Letter and County Advertiser of 25th September 1897

Leonard William Butler, son of John P. Butler

The Great War certainly took its toll on the inhabitants of Killiney. Over the years 1923 to 1940 Clonard was occupied by the Butler family. John P. Butler is listed as occupier in Thom’s Directory over this period. A memorial at Croisilles military cemetery lists Leonard William Butler 4th Bn. attd. 7th Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers who died on 20 November 1917 Age 18. Son of John P. Butler, of Clonard, Killiney, Co. Dublin.