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Killiney History | April 17, 2024

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Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 | author
‘South View of Queenstown from Killiney Bay proposed to be built on the Obelisk Hill of Killiney near Kingstown in the County Dublin’ by Joseph Patrick Haverty 1840. Courtesy National Library of Ireland

Article from The Irish Penny Journal 5th June 1841

Our metropolitan readers, at least, and many others besides, are aware of the magnificent but not easily to be realised project, recently propounded, of erecting a town on the east side of Malpas’s or Killiney Hill, a situation certainly of unrivalled beauty and grandeur. Plans, most satisfactory, and views prospective as well as perspective of this as yet non-existent Brighton or Clifton, have been laid before the public, with a view to obtain the necessary ways and means to give it a more substantial reality; but alas! for the uncertainty of human wishes! Queenstown, despite the popularity of our sovereign, is not likely, for some time at least, to present a rivalry, in any thing but its romantic and commanding site, to the busy, bustling, and not very symmetrically built town which has been erected in honour of Her august eldest uncle. The good people of Kingstown may therefore rejoice; their glory will not for some time at least be eclipsed; and the lovers of natural romantic scenery who have not money, they seldom have, to employ in promising speculations, may also rejoice, for the wild and precipitous cliffs of Killiney are likely to retain for some years longer a portion of their romantic beauty; the rocks will not be shaped into well-dressed forms of prim gentility; the purple heather and blossomy furze, ” unprofitably gay,” may give nature’s brilliant colouring to the scenery, and the wild sea-birds may sport around: the time has not arrived when they will be destroyed or banished from their ancient haunt by the encroachment of man.

Plans ‘designed and arranged by Messrs. Hosking & Son.’ architects for the development of Killiney Hill by Robert Warren c.1840. Image courtesy of Peter Pearson.

Extract from Dublin Historical Record December 1941

An article entitled ‘Glimpses of Old Dalkey’ by F. M. O’Flanagan mentions the plans for Queenstown:

I have made only brief allusion to Killiney Hill, that beautiful and popular resort of Dublin citizens, and it may be interesting to mention a map, a lithographed copy of which is in the National Library, showing the plan of the ” Town of Queenstown, proposed to be built on ” Killiney Hill near Kingstown.” It is inscribed with the name of Messrs. Hoskings, ” Architects, etc., Dublin,” and I place its date at very nearly 1840, since it shows no railway, and gives a table of road coaches leaving Dublin. It shows that the intention of the promoters was to construct roads and houses upon the Hill, to be approached, on the sea side by a 6o ft. esplanade where Vico Road is now. The plan was designed so as to include four residences then, and now, existing ; they are named: “Albert Castle,” “Victoria Castle,” “Kent Lodge,”and “Coburg Lodge” and are now respectively ” Killiney Castle,” ” Ayesha Castle,” “Mount Eagle,” and ” Mount Mapas.” I think you will agree that it was as well for the public enjoyment of a beautiful view that nothing came of this Town Planning experiment; nothing seems to be remembered of it now in the locality. The Ordnance Survey maps give ” Queenstown ” as the name of the Coliemore district, which the Directories call “Lower Queenstown ” ; the large house which James Milo Burke built in the ‘6o’s on Coliemore Road he named “Queenstown Castle.”

Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail 14 November 1840

‘Mature the plan’

The image above is a poor photocopy of a sketch, possibly by Sandham Symes, of the architect Hosking with his son looking out towards the Vico Road from the terrace of Mount Eagle. Senior is saying to his son ‘Mature the Plan’ instructing him to proceed with the design of the proposed town of Queenstown. The son replies ‘Splendid’ and gazes at the vision of what would become the full design for the development that never happened. The sketch is titled ‘Proposed Queenstown Terrace from Mount Eagle’ and shows a large terrace of houses approached by a raised viaduct traversing the sloping landscape of Killiney Hill which descends to the coastline. Hosking and Son architects do not appear in any Dublin directories from this time but it is possible they could be related to William Hosking (1800-1861) of London. Image courtesy of Peter Pearson.