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Killiney History | July 16, 2024

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Plasnewyd or Rock Lodge

Plasnewyd or Rock Lodge
Previous NamesRock Lodge
AddressRock Lodge
Exists todayYes
On 1888 mapYes
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 | author

Map of 1866

Now demolished, this significant 18th Century house, had a Welsh name (Plas Newydd) which translates to ‘posh new house’ and was a popular name for houses of that period in Wales. The extensive grounds contained a pleasure lake and walled orchard which can be seen in the 1866 map below.

Ordnance Survey map of 1866. Parish of Kill Sheet XXIII.15 Courtesy dlr Local Studies

The Architectural Conservation Area report of 2016 by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council mentions the property:

Unfortunately, a further 18th century dwelling of some significance, Plasnewyd, has been demolished to facilitate a modern housing development. Some elements of the garden enclosures of this house remain, in particular the walled orchard. These elements contribute to the historic landscape to a sufficient extent that warrants a degree of protection and inclusion in the ACA.

The original coach house still remains on the site and a new house which replaced the original structure was built in 1976.

Aerial view of the property showing some original outbuildings and walled garden c.2008

The Lake

Remembered as Darcus’ lake or Captain Disney’s pond this water feature in the grounds of Plasnewyd/Rock Lodge was a popular spot with youngsters from the area.

Lindé Nuttall-Smith on Captain Disney’s pond, now Rock Lodge estate, c.1947.
Photo courtesy of Lindé Hall.

A Killiney schoolboy remembers

Memoirs of Arthur Haughton who was born in 1903. Extract from’ A Parish History 1858-1996′ courtesy of Holy Trinity Church Killiney.

In the Preachers’ Book there is a column for comments. In the early 1920s this space was often filled by remarks about the extremely bad weather conditions. Arthur, when asked if he remembered anything in particular, said they used to get very harsh, black ice, which was particularly noticeable on Darcus’ Lake in the grounds of Rock Lodge, then called Plas Newydd.

Boarding School run by Rev. Callaghan McCarthy from 1866

Saunders’s News-Letter 18 July 1866
Irish Times 4th February 1874

Seán Ó’Faoláin and Knockaderry House

Disney sold a site to Seán Ó’Faoláin to build a house.

Rock Lodge as it is today with 1888 map overlay

1888 Plasnewyd Estate boundary indicated in red. Sheet XXIII.97 “County Dublin,” held by Ordnance Survey Ireland. © Public domain. Digital content: © Ordnance Survey Ireland, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin

Josephine McKeever Close 1888-1972

Daughter of Mary Maxwell formerly McKeever, of Killiney, Co. Dublin. Her mother was the postmistress in Killiney, and following the death of her first husband, she married William Maxwell, an Apothecary. In the 1901 census, she had 7 children – all McKeevers living with her. Wife of Lieutenant Henry Burke Close (The Royal Dublin Fusiliers. 7th Battalion, attached to 3rd & 4th (Reserve) Battalion. Secondary Regiment, Royal Field Artillery 129th Battery, 30th Brigade), of “Plas Newydd”, Killiney, Co. Dublin, whom she married in Ballybrack Church [RC] Co. Dublin, on 29 August 1915. Henry Joseph Burke, son of Henry Peter Close and Hanna Mary Frances Hynes, of 5 Leinster Road West, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, was born on 18 May 1883, and was baptised at Rathmines Church [RC], Dublin, on 27 May 1883. His god-parents were Allan Parker Close and Josephine Mary Hynes. His father Henry Peter Close died in 1900, aged 57. in the 1911 census, he was recorded as living with his widowed mother, Frances Close, at Vico Road, Dalkey, Co. Dublin. They had 2 children, Carmel and Hilda. Her younger brother Captain Louis Lawrence McKeever M.C. also died in World War 1. Her grandchildren, who are also buried here (Glasnevin Cemetery), are:
Henry Larkin
Owen Larkin
Brendan Kidney

Rock Lodge gate piers

You can just make out the name ‘ROCK LODGE’ on the entrance gates to the house which now stands on the site of Plasnewyd. Photo by Michael McShane January 2022.

Records from Thom’s directory and other sources (Updated 28.01.2023)

1837Plasnewyd1837 Map
1847-1852The Hon. Mrs. KayeThom’s
1856Hon. Richard Gilbert Talbot
1858Not listed
1866Hon. Richard Gilbert Talbot to Rev. Callaghan McCarthy.Lease of 9 acres for 14 years. Deeds and other documents relating to the Rochestown and Ballinclea Estates, Co. Dublin, 1419-1894. Shelfmark MS Talbot c. 93. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Page 40 Item 77.
1867-1870Rev. Callaghan McCarthy. Boarding School.Thom’s
1877Not listed
1880M. Charles C. Burke
1888-1892Mrs. Eccles
1894-1897James Lyon Esq Professor of Engineering, Royal College of Science
1900-1910H.S. Darcus
1912-1934Mrs. Maxwell
1935-1945Captain Thomas B.L. Disney & Miss V.P. DisneyTalbot Estate Papers. Rentals and accounts for Killiney estate, 1933-1948. Shelfmark MS Talbot d. 13. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Pages 11-36, Rental No.13 Plasnewyd
1936-1943Captain T.B.L. Disney, M.C. (late Royal Signals) & Miss V.P. DisneyRenamed Rock Lodge in Thom’s
1946-1948Michael Fitzgerald.Talbot Estate Papers. Rentals and accounts for Killiney estate, 1933-1948. Shelfmark MS Talbot d. 13. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Pages 39 & 42, Rental No.13 Rock Lodge
1950Michael Fitzgerald.Thom’s
1954Fitzgerald, Mrs.
1960Lucas, W.P.
Note this list is incomplete