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Killiney History | August 16, 2022

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Victoria Arms Hotel

Victoria Arms Hotel
NameVictoria Arms Hotel
AddressKilliney Village
On 1888 mapYes
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2022 | author

The Victoria Arms Hotel was located in the heart of Killiney Village on the site which now hosts the Killiney Plaza apartment development. An advertisement for the hotel, dated c.1926, indicates the type of business catered for by the proprietor, John Clancy. We know from Thom’s directory that John Clancy ran the business during the period 1926-1937. The hotel not only offered accommodation but also ‘First class groceries and provisions. The best brands of wines and spirits. Guinness Stout on bottle and draught. Luncheons, Dinners, Teas and Refreshments.’ The family with the longest standing connection to the hotel is the McKeever/Maxwell family whose affiliation began around 1878 and continued up until 1920 and possibly later.

Advert from The Freeman’s Journal 16th March 1853

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 operated from the premises at that time. From Thom’s Directory 1880-1894 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.

Advert for Victoria Hotel from Porter’s Directory of 1911. Courtesy of Anna Scudds.

Peter McKeever appears to have acquired the premises from John Donegan in 1882. Prior to this he ran the post office and continued in this role until his death in 1897. His widow, Mary McKeever, took over the role as sub-postmistress from 1898 until at least 1940. In the Thom’s listing of 1898 she is identified as Mary Maxwell having married William Maxwell, an Apothecary. She is listed as the proprietor of the hotel in 1898 and is further described as grocer and wine merchant. In the 1901 census Mary Maxwell who was Peter McKeever’s widow, 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.

Photograph from advertisement dated c.1928 when the proprietor of the hotel was J. Clancy. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Haughton

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 from 1926 to 1937 in Thom’s Directory and he appears in the photo taken outside the premises c.1928.

In 1943 the sub-postmistress for Killiney village 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, 1943 and 1947 and was living in Bayview (now Killiney Stores) at this time. This is the last Thom’s Directory record of The Victoria Arms Hotel. 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.’ In 1960 Elizabeth Moffatt is running the establishment. 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 about the buildings which immediately adjoin the hotel here.

Map of property c. 1889 indicating neighbours


YearNameName of premisesSource of information
1853Mr. LawlorVictoria HotelAdvert. Premises To Let suitable for Tavern and Provision Business
1858B. LarneyVictoria TavernPost Office Dublin Directory and Calendar
1865B. Larney (prop)Killiney HotelAdvert. Visitors to the Exhibition are informed of recent alterations and capacity for 100 guests with splendidly laid out grounds. Less than 45 minutes by train from Dublin.
1865Killiney HotelAdvert. ‘The Patent Lever Porter Machine may be seen at work in Killiney Hotel’
1866Bernard Larney (owner)Victoria HotelAdvert. Landed Estates’ Court (lease from 1856)
1866Name not providedVictoria HotelAdvert. Premises To Let due to ill health of proprietor. A grocery concern is attached.
1868B. LarneyVictoria InnThom’s
1878McKeeverPost OfficeAdvert. Reply ‘care of Mr, McKeever, Post-office, Killiney’.
1882McKeeverPost OfficeAdvert. Reply ‘care of Mr, McKeever, Post-office, Killiney’.
1884Mrs. McKeeverPost Office
1887-92Peter McKeeverKilliney Post OfficeThom’s. McKeever is listed as receiver in the Post Office which was located on the premises at this time.
1888Peter McKeeverLease of 1888. Edward Lister K. Talbot to Peter McKeever
1891Peter McKeeverPublicanNewspaper report. The DuBedat Bankruptcy. Peter McKeever nominated as Trade Assignee.
1895Peter McKeeverVictoria Hotel & RestaurantAdvert. ‘A Charabanc attends the trains every hour at Dalkey station.’
1895Peter McKeeverMcKeever’s HotelNewspaper report. ‘Mr. P. McKeever must be enrolled amongst the pioneers of the revival of Irish tourist traffic etc…’
1897Peter McKeeverNewspaper report. Funeral of Peter McKeever. Attendees listed. Chief mourners listed as Ernest James and Louis, sons.
1898McKeever, MrsVictoria Hotel, grocer and wine merchantThom’s
1898McKeever’s HotelAdvert. ‘The Irish Palermo.’ ‘Well appointed Char-a-Banc.’
1900Mrs. Mary MaxwellVictoria HotelNewspaper report. Application for change of her maiden name of Mary McKeever on drink’s licence to her present name of Maxwell having remarried.
1900Mrs. McKeeverVictoria HotelThom’s. Also listed as grocer and wine merchant. Also listed as postmistress.
1902Mr. MaxwellKilliney HotelNewspaper report. Mr. Maxwell purchased a well known public house in Townsend Street from Joseph Ward, chairman of Killiney Urban District Council.
1905-07Mrs. MaxwellVictoria HotelThom’s. Also listed as grocer and wine merchant. Also listed as postmistress and living in Bellair House.
1912-17Mrs. MaxwellVictoria HotelThom’s. Also listed as grocer and wine merchant. Also listed as sub-postmistress and living in Plasnewyd.
1915Mrs. MaxwellMcKeever’s ‘Victoria Hotel’Advert. (Per instructions of Mrs. Maxwell who is retiring from business). Auction notice for the sale of McKeever’s ‘Victoria Hotel’ & Killiney Bar together with ‘Bayview’, ‘Hillview’ and 5 adjoining cottages. The sale also included the 7 day licensed premises at 110 and 111 Townsend Street.
1917Victoria Hotel and Killiney BarAdvert. For Immediate Letting. It appears the auction of 1915 was not successful and Mrs. Maxwell sought to let the premises as a going concern.
1920-23Thos. A. Shine and Wm. Kenneally, proprietorsVictoria HotelThom’s.
1922Thos. ShineShine’s HotelNewspaper report of robbery
1923Thomas ShineVictoria Arms HotelNewspaper report. Proprietor summoned for breaching the Licensing Act. Wm. Kenneally mentioned.
1924Catherine McGeown, proprietressVictoria Arms HotelThom’s.
1925John ClancyCounterpart Lease John Clancy to Nora O’Callaghan Duff.
1926-37J. Clancy, proprietorVictoria Arms HotelThom’s.
1940-47John Rush, proprietorVictoria Arms HotelThom’s. Also listed at Killiney Hotel and Bayview.
1950-54Mrs. MurrayThe Balcony CafeThom’s.
1960Elizabeth MoffattThe Balcony CafeThom’s.
1970Diana Muriel KellockLease to Killiney Inns Ltd.
1972-87Henri & Helena RollandRestaurant RollandLease
1987-95Catherine & Spencer WongJades RestaurantBuilding demolished c.1998 to make way for the Killiney Hill Plaza apartment development.

Stagecoach stop

The hotel was a popular destination for visitors to the area and place for taking refreshments for the various coach services which passed through the village. This is recalled by Arthur Haughton who was born in 1903. This is an extract from an article which appears in Holy Trinity Church 1858-1996, A Parish History:

The Druid’s Chair which is still there and beside it was Victoria Hotel, later known as Jades restaurant. In earlier times this had been a stage for the stagecoach which travelled up from Wexford to Dun Laoghaire. As Killiney Hill Road was so steep, the stagecoach stopped at Killiney House to change horses; the passengers alighted and walked up the hill to the hotel for refreshments, while the stagecoach came up empty and met them again at the hotel. It was then a downhill run through Dalkey to Dun Laoghaire.

Advertisement for the hotel from c.1925. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Haughton.

More recent occupants

Many will remember the well loved Jade’s Chinese restaurant which occupied the premises in the 1980’s. This was run by Catherine and Spencer Wong. Prior to this it was Restaurant Rolland and had a popular following. Before that again in the 1950’s the premises was known as The Balcony Cafe and was run by a Mrs. Murray. Over the years as the commercial premises in the village closed up shop small infill housing schemes replaced the original buildings and now The Druid’s Chair pub and Killiney Stores Deli are the only remaining commercial uses serving the locals and visitors alike.

Jades Chinese restaurant c. 1996. Photo by M.McShane
A view into the yard behind the hotel before demolition and a view of St. Abbey’s which was previously called Hillview. Photo by M.McShane

Newspaper cuttings from over the years

11th October 1866 The Irish Times
March 1900
March 1912
September 1922
January 1923