Kilbride, County Wicklow
|• Total||46.9112 km2 (18.1125 sq mi)|
|• Density||21/km2 (54/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
Kilbride (Irish: Cill Bhríde), or Manor Kilbride, is the name of a village, civil parish and District electoral division located in County Wicklow, 22 kilometres southwest of Dublin City, at the western edge of the Wicklow Mountains in the barony of Talbotstown Lower. The village is located in the eponymous townland at the centre of the civil parish.
Kilbride village is situated in the eponymous townland on the western edge of the Wicklow Mountains, occupying a narrow valley formed by the convergence of the Brittas River and the River Liffey, north of Poulaphouca Reservoir. The valley is bounded by Goldenhill, Cromwellstownhill and Cupidstownhill to the west with Butterhill and Ballyfoyle to the east. The civil parish of Kilbride covers 11,591 statute acres, containing the following townlands:
|Ballyfolan||848||Baile Uí Fhaoláin|
|Butter Mountain||935||Sliabh an Bhóthair|
|Scurlocksleap||630||Léim an Scorlógaigh|
|Tinode||1250||Tigh Nód |
Much of the parish consists of mountain and blanket bog; the parish boundaries are formed by the southwest-northeast ridge of Cromwellstownhill and Cupidstown Hill to the west, the Brittas River to the north and the peaks of Seefin (621m), Seefingan (723m) and Kippure (757m) to the northeast. The upper reaches of the River Liffey form the southeast boundary. A small stream bounds with Blessington parish to the southwest. The parish borders with the counties of Kildare and Dublin to the west and north. The N81 road from Dublin to Baltinglass runs southwest through a valley between Cromwellstownhill and Goldenhill, across the townlands of Moanaspick and Tinode. The R759 road, one of two routes crossing the Wicklow Mountains, runs southeast above the upper reaches of the Liffey through Kilbride, Knockatillane, Cloghleagh, Scurlocksleap, Athdown and Kippure. The village and parish of Kilbride is located within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A cluster of four cairns of Neolithic or Bronze Age origin are located at the summit of Golden Hill immediately west of the village. Two enclosures of prehistoric or early medieval date, and four cairns of Neolithic or Bronze Age date are situated at the summit of the Dowry Hill within Kilbride townland. Six additional cairns of likely prehistoric date are located in the eastern half of Cloghleagh. Passage Tombs are located atop both Seefin and Seefingan. All are listed in the Record of Monuments and Places maintained by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. A polished stone axehead was recovered from the townland of Knockatillane in 1866.
Ringforts of likely early medieval date are located atop Golden Hill, below Cloghleagh Church, and adjacent to the deserted settlement at Lisheens. There are no visible medieval remains in the modern village. Liam Price suggested the townland and parish name indicated an Early Christian church was located in the townland of Shankill, under the jurisdiction of St. Bridget's Monastery of Kildare.
Price speculated an Anglo-Norman parish church, founded before 1250, was located in the existing graveyard, listed as a church site in the Record of Monuments and Places. An early medieval cross-slab was removed from the graveyard and presented to the National Museum of Ireland in 1970. The existing Catholic church contains a font reputedly removed from the earlier church. A 2009 survey of the graveyard showed the earliest gravestones, dating from the first decades of the 18th century, clustered around a raised area at the centre of the graveyard, likely the site of the medieval church. A 1630 visitation of the diocese of Dublin noted the impropriations of the churches of Kilteel and Kilbride were held by the Alen family of St. Wolstan's: 'church and chauncels are very ruinous'.
The medieval history of Kilbride is obscure. West Wicklow was densely forested in the medieval period, reflected in its medieval name of 'Coillacht' . The church of Kilbride is referred to as 'Kylbryde in the Colach' in 1291. Kilbride was within the estates of the Archbishop of Dublin. In the late 12th century the Archbishop's seneschal, Elias Harold, was seated in the neighbouring parish of Blessington which became known as 'Villa Elye Harold in Coillacht' or Haroldstown, the modern townland of Threecastles  Though later references exist to the manor and lordship of Kilbride, it is unclear whether the townland or parish contained a manorial centre or the dwelling of a principal landowner; a likely site would be close to the graveyard or within the grounds of the adjacent manor house, though no relevant documentary or archaeological evidence has been identified. The townland name Brittas may reflect the presence of a bretasche, an earth and timber fortification from the first phase of the Norman settlement, but no site of that type has yet been identified; an adjoining townland in the parish of Tallaght bears the same name. The townland name Scurlocksleap, recorded as early as 1655 presumably also reflects the name of an early Anglo-Norman settler or landowner. The site of a possible Anglo-Norman motte in Athdown townland has been erased by quarrying. The site of a second possible church and graveyard lies a short distance from the motte. Liam Price speculated that this was the 'Ecclesia de Villa Reysin' noted in the 13th century extent Crede Mihi.
The Hospitaller Preceptory of Kilteel acquired Rathmore, to which Kilbride was a subordinate chapel, presumably with the surrounding lands, from the Archbishop of Dublin in the 14th century. However the area was a disputed marchland, a 'land of war' beyond the boundaries of the English Pale defined by the fortified settlements at Rathmore and Kilteel to the west and claimed by the Gaelic O'Tooles of North Wicklow. The Allen family of St. Wolstans obtained possession of the preceptory and its possessions in 1540. The troubled status of the area is reflected in a 1541 grant confirming their title:
|“||"in consideration that the Preceptory, lordship or manor of Kilheale, in Kildare county, is situated in the marches thereof near the Irish enemies, the Tholes (O'Tooles), where resistance and defence are required, grant to Thomas Alan and Mary his wife, the said lordship."||”|
A 1543 lease of the preceptory and its possessions to Thomas Alen included Kilbride. The earls of Kildare gained control of much of the surrounding area in the late 15th century. A tower house at Threecastles in Blessington parish, three kilometres west of Kilbride village, controls a fording point across the River Liffey. It may have been constructed by the eighth Earl of Kildare before 1514 to protect his recently acquired territories against the O'Tooles. In 1524 Sir Piers Butler seized Threecastles and installed a garrison in response to the Fitzgeralds' murder of Sir Robert Talbot, the Sheriff of Dublin. In 1538 a force under the command of John Kelway, Constable of Rathmore, was ambushed and slain at Threecastles by a force under the command of Turlough O'Toole. In 1547, Turlough's son, Brian O'Toole of Powerscourt, then sheriff of Dublin, defeated an alliance of FitzGerald rebels and the O'Tooles of Imaal at Threecastles. The Annals of the Four Masters describes the battle:
|“||The rebel[s] Fitzgeralds sustained a great defeat at Baile-na-dtri-gCaislen from the English, and from Brian-an-chogaidh, the son of Turlough O'Toole, in which the two sons of James, son of the Earl, namely, Maurice-an-fheadha and Henry, with fourteen of their people, were taken prisoners. They were afterwards conveyed to Dublin, and all cut into quarters, excepting Maurice, who was imprisoned in the King's castle, until it should be determined what death he should receive. Thus were these plunderers and rebels dispersed and scared; and although their career was but of short duration (one year only), they committed vast depredations.||”|
A second tower house site is located within Oldcourt townland, 3 km south of the village. The original townland name 'Butlerscourt' marked the possession of lands here by the Butlers of Ormond.
A deserted settlement of medieval or early modern date is located in Lisheens townland, 2 km north of Kilbride village, adjacent to two circular enclosures, a ringfort and a cross-inscribed stone. The proximity of the settlement to the ringfort may suggest continuity of settlement here from the early medieval period. The cross-inscribed stone may represent a Mass rock dating from the era of the Penal Laws, suggesting a later origin or a longer period of occupation. The field system associated with the settlement does not conform with that depicted on the 1838 Ordnance Survey maps, suggesting it was abandoned before 1800. A second deserted settlement of possible medieval date lies northeast of Cloghleagh bridge.
The Down Survey map and terrier for Kilbride and Blessington parishes, completed c. 1655, do not depict or describe any buildings within the parish of Kilbride, though the terrier notes Threecastles contained a garrison. Wicklow served as a refuge for the remnants of the Confederate forces or Rapparees after the nominal conclusion of the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland in 1653. The Cromwellian government continued to exclude the entire county of Wicklow from military protection, rendering the entire county a free-fire zone. The regime also sought to exclude the native Old English or Gaelic Irish, seen as potential Confederate sympathisers. In May 1656, the government was still issuing:
|“||special orders and directions for the speedy and effectual removal of all such Irish Papists out of the County of Wicklow, as have presumed to return and to inhabit there...it being hoped and intended the same should be thoroughly and seasonably planted and inhabited by Protestants of this and the English nation.||”|
The Down Survey notes Threecastles contained a garrison c. 1655, presumably a reflection of this ongoing conflict. In 1702 Francis Allen of St. Wolstans leased the 'Manor and Lordship of Kilbride', coterminous with the civil parish, to Henry Fitzpatrick of Friarstown for a term of 299 years. George Ponsonby acquired the lease in 1796. In 1824 the lease was purchased from his widow Lady Ponsonby by Sir Lorenzo Moore, whose descendants held lands in the parish until the 1950s.
In 1766, Robert Green, vicar of the united parishes of Rathmore, Kilteel and Kilbride recorded three Protestant families and 85 Roman Catholic families within the parish of Kilbride. No building is depicted within Kilbride townland on Jacob Neville's 1760 map of Wicklow, though houses are depicted at Tinode and Aghfarrell. Taylor and Skinner's 1777 map marks 'Affarell House' as the residence of 'Allen Esq.' suggesting the Allen family retained a house within the parish. The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage dates Talbotstown House in Buttermountain townland to c. 1750, suggesting it is the same building marked as 'Aghfarrell House' in Neville's map and the earliest extant building in the parish. However the 1838 Ordnance Survey map depicts the ruins of 'Aghfarrell House' a short distance to the north of Talbotstown House, in Aghfarrell townland. Tinode house is built on the site of an earlier coaching inn, Horseshoe House, depicted in the 1838 OS maps, and described in the 1838 Ordnance Survey Name books:
|“||In the Townland of Tinode on the West side of the Old Dublin road. It is a fine house, slated and well-sheltered with trees, occupied by Mr. Coogan & was formerly a fine Inn; on the old road from Blessington to Dublin.||”|
The current Manor house, built by the Moore family c. 1843, replaced an earlier building, 'Kilbride House,' depicted on the 1838 OS maps, possibly built before 1800. In 1827 a second Moore residence, Kippure House, located within a wooded demesne high in the mountains, was the seat of George Moore, barrister and M.P for Dublin.
Neville's 1760 map marks the freestone quarry which provided granite for the construction of Nelson's Pillar, the General Post Office, The Custom House and the Four Courts. When the Moore family acquired the Kilbride estate these quarries passed out of use and were replaced by those at Ballyknockan. The worked out remains are visible north and south of the village, in the eastern face of Golden Hill.
The current extensive manor house, a listed structure, was built by the Moore family in Tudor Revival style after 1840. The Moores were also responsible for the construction of St Johns Church at Cloghleagh in 1834. Under the Church of Ireland divisions, the medieval parish of Kilbride, previously part of the Union of Rathmore, was united with the parishes of Burgage and Boystown in the Union of Blessington. A Catholic chapel, built in the village in 1776, enlarged in 1835, was replaced by the current church in 1881, built with the patronage of the Catholic M.P. William Henry Ford Cogan who is commemorated in the church windows. Cogan was responsible for the construction of Tinode House, a listed structure c. 1864. The Ordnance Survey Name Books describe Kilbride in 1838:
|“||It is a very small village, with a neat Roman Catholick Chapel, and two publick houses.||”|
Between 1841 and 1851 the population of the parish declined from 1324 to 897, and the number of inhabited houses declined from 188 to 125.
A Royal Irish Constabulary barracks and a National school marked south of the chapel on the 1853 Primary Valuations passed out of use before 1900, the latter replaced by a new schoolhouse built by the Moore family in Knockatillane. The barracks and national school may be incorporated within an existing shop and private dwelling now on the site. The Third Edition OS maps depict a smithy south of the graveyard, also noted in the 1901 Census, of which no traces survive. The 1901 Census records a public house in Kilbride townland run by Mary Lalor in 1901, still owned and operated by her descendants. A corn mill depicted in 1838 at the south end of the village, recorded in the 1853 Primary Valuations lies under, or within, a later dwelling. The millrace survives as a field boundary to the west of the village.
The 1838 OS map also marks a police station in Kippure townland, still described as a barracks in the 1853 Primary Valuations. A third station depicted in Tinode townland, and noted in the 1843 Valuation House Books, was no longer in use by 1853.
Kilbride Lodge or Kilbride Cottage, depicted a short distance north of the village in 1838, was likely built either by the Tassie family, who held the lease of the adjacent quarry up to 1796, or their successors the Doyle family. In 1844 the house was occupied by the Reverend William Ogle Moore, son of George Ogle Moore and curate of the parishes of Blessington and Kilbride. The house was either replaced or merely enlarged and renamed Glen Heste House in the later nineteenth century. In the twentieth century Glen Heste served as a hotel, but the building was destroyed by fire on 6 May 1958. A private airstrip operated from the field south of Glen Heste between 1946 and 1955.
In 1876 Joseph Scott Moore of Manor Kilbride held 8,730 acres. In 1895 lands in Shankill townland were compulsorily acquired from the Moore family to form Kilbride Army Camp. The Camp passed into the possession of Irish forces on 21 March 1922, but was occupied by Anti-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War. It is still by in use by the Irish Army.
From 1888 to 1932 the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway operated along the current N81 between Terenure and Poulaphouca. The tram stopped at The Lamb Tram Station at the top of the Kilbride Road. Joyce's Neighbourhood of Dublin describes the site in 1912:
|“||"The Lamb" where there is now only a tram station and ticket office, but where in former times there stood an inn with the sign of "The Lamb" which has since left its name impressed on the locality.||”|
Kilbride DED had a population of 975 on the 2011 census. St. Brigid's National School has 130 pupils. The existing National School replaced the schoolhouse at Knockatillane in 1969. Craul's Shop lies on the site of the first National School and RIC barracks and faces the entrance to the graveyard. St. John's Church at Cloghleagh is still in use by the Church of Ireland. The metal army barracks in use as a village hall was recently replaced by a more modern building.
Record of Monuments and Places: http://www.archaeology.ie/ArchaeologicalSurveyofIreland/
Ordnance Survey Maps: http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,591271,743300,0,10
Primary Valuation of Ireland: http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/
1901 Census of Ireland: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/
- Record of Monuments and Places WI005-002,WI001-039,WI001-019
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-026, WI001-027
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-028001, WI001-028002, WI001-040001, WI001-040002
- Record of Monuments and Places WI006-001001-6
- Record of Monuments and Places WI006-003: "Description: Situated on the summit of Seefin Mountain. A circular cairn (diam. 24-6m; H 3m) defined by a contiguous kerb of large boulders partly removed at the E and W, covering a narrow lintelled passage (L 11m). The passage is orientated NE-SW, and opens into a rectangular corbelled chamber (dims. 4m x 1.5m) off which there are five recesses (two at each side and one at the end). Only the end and adjoining recesses are visible; the rest are buried under the collapsed cairn. There are two sidestones in the passage decorated with passage tomb art. Excavated in 1931 (Macalister 1932), it produced no evidence of burials or finds. (Herity 1974, 258; Rynne 1963, 85-6; Shee-Twohig 1981, 222-3) The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research."
- WI006-004: "Description: Situated on the summit of Seefingan Mountain. Circular cairn (diam. 20m; H 3m) said locally to have contained a 'cave', with a 'tunnel' leading into it (Price and Walshe 1933, 47). Herity (1974, 258) suggests it may be a passage tomb, but no kerb or structures are visible. The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research. "
- Moore, Joseph Scott 1867. 'On the discovery of a stone hatchet at Kilbride, County of Wicklow' in Journal of the Royal Geological Society of Ireland , Vol. I, pp. 250-252
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-018: "Description: Situated on a very gentle SW-facing slope c. 200m SW of the summit of Golden Hill. Circular area (diam. 37m) defined by a stony bank (Wth c. 4m; int. H 0.7m) and an external fosse (av. Wth 6m; av. D 0.7m). There is a gap in the bank (Wth 5m) and causeway across the fosse (Wth 6m) at the NE with another causeway (Wth c. 12m) at the SE. There are some large stones in situ in the interior of the site and traces of a boulder revetment at the base of the bank. Possibly a modified prehistoric kerbed cairn. (Price 1934, 46) The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research."
- Record of Monuments and Places WI005-007: "Description: Situated on the SW extremity of a small natural promontory with short steep scarps on the N, S and W sides. An elongated D-shaped enclosure (dims. c. 30m E-W; c. 25m N-S) defined by an earthen bank (H 0.45-0.65m). The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research."
- WI001-008: "Description: Situated on a gentle W-facing slope. Circular enclosure (diam. c. 30m) visible on aerial photograph (CUCAP, API 12) defined by a bank and an external fosse with a possible counterscarp bank at the N and W. The bank and fosse were somewhat flattened along the SE (upslope) where there is a slight indication of an entrance causeway. Removed before 1973 (a possible trace is visible on aerial photographs (GSIAP, O 89-90)). Not visible at ground level. The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research."
- Price, Liam 1953. The Placenames of County Wicklow IV - The Barony of Talbotstown Lower. Dublin. p. 402
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-022002
- Price, Liam 1953. The Placenames of County Wicklow IV - The Barony of Talbotstown Lower. Dublin. p. 402
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-022006; NMI Reg. No. 1970:189
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-046
- Halligan, Janet 2009. Manor Kilbride Graveyard Survey (Blessington History Society).
- Ronan, M.V. 1941, 'Archbishop Bulkeley's Visitation of Dublin in Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. 8 pp. 56-98, p. 80
- Price 1953, 402
- Price, Liam 1953. The Placenames of County Wicklow IV - The Barony of Talbotstown Lower. Dublin. p. 406
- Record of Monuments Places WI006-013
- Record of Monuments and Places WI006-012
- Price 1953, 399
- Price, 1953, 402
- Nicholls 1994.Irish Fiants of the Tudor Sovereigns during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Philip & Mary, and Elizabeth I. Dublin. Elizabeth No. 1087
- Joyce, Weston St. John 1922. The Neighbourhood of Dublin: Its Topography, Antiquities and Historical Associations. Dublin. p. 387
- Morrin, James 1861. Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery of Ireland of the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth:Volume I. Dublin, p. 92
- Record of Monuments and Places WI005-031; http://www.independent.ie/regionals/wicklowpeople/news/site-was-scene-of-bitter-fighting-27863455.html
- Joyce, Weston St. John 1922. The Neighbourhood of Dublin: Its Topography, Antiquities and Historical Associations. Dublin. pp. 391-395
- O'Byrne, Emmett 2005, 'One World: The Communities of the South Dublin Marches' in History Ireland, Vol. 3, Issue 13, May/June 2005.
- Record of Monuments and Places WI005-034
- Price, Liam 1953. The Placenames of County Wicklow IV - The Barony of Talbotstown Lower. Dublin. p. 394-395
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-005- Corlett, Chris 2007. 'A Fossilised Landscape in County Wicklow' in Archaeology Ireland, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 16-20
- Record of Monuments and Places WI001-006, WI001-008, WI004-044
- Record of Monuments and Places WI005-009: "Description: Situated between the Shankill River to W, the modern road to the S and a sunken lane to the E. A complex of at least five rectangular houses each with smaller structures attached. Some buildings lie within small rectangular 'yards' or enclosures. The complex covers 0.35 hectares (c. 0.9 acres). The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research."
- Dunlop 1913. Ireland under the Commonwealth. Vol. II Manchester. pp. 602-603
- National Archives M5374(4)
- Lease of Kilbride by Francis Allen son of Patrick Allen of St Wolstan’s to Henry Fitzpatrick of Fryarstown Kildare 1700: doeth demise grant set and to farm let unto the said Henry Fitzpatrick his executors administrators and assigns all that and those the manor or lordship and lands of Kilbride, Buttermountain, Knockatalane, the Lesseens, Ballyfolane, Ballyfoile, Adoone, Scurlocksleape, Cloghoge, Glanbride, and all other the lands and tenements of what denomination whatsoever part of parcel of Kilbride aforesaid containing by estimation 4141 acres plantation measure be they more or less lying and being in the county of Wicklow together with all...... to be granted with their and every of their rights members and appurtenances unto the said Henry Fitzpatrick...for the term time and space of 299 years the said term to commence the 1st day of November which shall be in the year of our lord god 1702...yearly rent of £400
- Gurrin, Brian F. 2006, 'Three Eighteenth Century Surveys of County Wicklow' in Analecta Hibernica, No. 39, pp. 79-134, p 101
- Taylor, George and Skinner, Andrew 1778. Taylor & Skinner's Maps of the Roads of Ireland, Surveyed 1777. Dublin. p 138
- Wright, G.N. 1827. A Guide to the County of Wicklow. Dublin. pp. 149, 173
- . 1846.The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1844-45.Dublin. p. 223
- O'Malley Irwin, George 1844. The Illustrated Handbook to the County of Wicklow. Dublin. pp. 52-53
- Irish Times, 7 May 1958, p. 1
- Joyce 1921, 390