Castleknock (barony)

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The barony of Castleknock (Irish: Caisleán Cnucha) meaning "Cnucha's Castle"[1] is a feudal title of nobility and one of the baronies of Ireland. Originally part of the Lordship of Meath, it was then constituted as part of the old county of Dublin. Today, it lies in the modern county of Fingal. The barony was created by Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath as his own feudal barony, held directly from himself in capite. His vassals were commonly called "De Lacy's Barons".[2] In the case of the this barony, the first vassal was Hugh Tyrrel. At the heart of the barony is the civil parish of the same name - Castleknock - which is one of eight civil parishes in the barony. In the townland of Castleknock itself is the location of the eponymous "Cnucha's Castle" - Castleknock Castle. The town with the biggest population in the barony is Blanchardstown.


It is one of seven and a half baronies that used to comprise the old county of Dublin.[3] It stretches from Cabra to Blanchardstown (from east to west) and from Finglas to Chapelizod (from north to south). It is located between the baronies of Coolock to the east, Nethercross to the north and Dublin to the southwest. The River Liffey separates it from the remaining baronies. The whole of the barony is contained within the modern county of Fingal and it is subject to Fingal County Council.

Legal context[edit]

Baronies were created after the Norman invasion of Ireland as subdivisions of counties and were used for administration. At the time of its creation, Castleknock was part of the Lordship of Meath. While baronies continue to be officially defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes. While they have been administratively obsolete since 1898, they continue to be used in land registration, and specification such as in planning permissions. In many cases, a barony corresponds to an earlier Gaelic túath which had submitted to the Crown. This is probably true in the case of Castleknock.

Civil parishes[edit]

Civil parish of Castleknock[edit]

Townlands in the civil parish of Castleknock:[4]

Gaelic English
Baile an Aba Abbotstown
Baile an Ásaigh Ashtown
Baile an Chairpintéaraigh Carpenterstown
Baile an Déanaigh Deanestown
Baile an Diosualaigh Diswellstown
Baile an Huntaigh Huntstown *
Baile an Phóirtéaraigh Porterstown
Baile Bhlainséir Blanchardstown
Baile Mhistéil Mitchelstown
Baile Pheiléid Pelletstown
Baile Scriobail Scribblestown
Baile Sheáin Johnstown
An Chabrach Cabra
Caisleán Cnucha Castleknock (incl. part of Phoenix Park)
Ceapach Cappoge or Cappagh
Cnoc na gCaorach Sheephill
An Chorr Dhubh Corduff
Dún Sinche Dunsink
Páirc Anna Annfield
Snugborough Snugborough
Steach Gob Astagob
  • Not to be confused with Huntstown in Mulhuddart.

Civil parish of Chapelizod[edit]

According to the Placenames Database of Ireland,[5] Chapelizod contains a single townland of the same name. However, 465 acres are within the walls of the Phoenix Park while the village proper, outside the walls, contains only 67 acres.

Civil parish of Cloghran[edit]

Townlands in the civil parish of Cloghran

Civil parish of Clonsilla[edit]

Townlands in the civil parish of Clonsilla:

Gaelic English
Baile an Bhearbóraigh Barberstown
Baile an Bhlácaigh Blakestown
Baile an Hartaigh Hartstown
Baile Fiobail nó Páirc Hans Phibblestown or Hansfield
Baile Lotrail Luttrellstown or Woodlands
Baile Uí Cheallaigh Kellystown
Cluain Saileach Clonsilla
Cnoc an Sciobóil Barnhill
Cúil Mhín Coolmine
Gort na Giolcaí Broomfield
Móinteán na gCaorach Sheepmoor
Steach Gob Astagob
Teach Chainnigh Castaheany Note 1
Note 1 The largest population centre in Castaheany / Hansfield is Ongar.

Civil parish of Finglas[edit]

Townlands of the parish of Finglas are split among three baronies. There are also three parcels of the parish within Castleknock itself:

  • The northern parcel, wedged between Ward and St Margarets, has Shallon, Bishopswood, Broghan and Kilshane.
  • The central parcel, wedged between Tyrrelstown and Goddamendy, contains the single townland of Cruiserath
  • The southern parcel contains the village proper.

Civil parish of Mulhuddart[edit]

Notable townlands in the civil parish of Mulhuddart:

Civil parish of St James'[edit]

The barony contains two townlands of the civil parish of St. James' that lie on the north bank of the River Liffey:

Civil parish of Ward[edit]

Townlands in the civil parish of Ward


The feudal barony was created out of the Lordship of Meath by Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath and granted in 1177 to Hugh Tyrrel. It was held for three and a half knight's fees, owed to the superior Lord of Fingal. The title and lands of Castleknock were held by the Tyrell family until 1370 when Hugh Tyrell and his wife died of the Plague. It later passed to the Viscount Gormanston.

See also[edit]

List of subdivisions of County Dublin


  1. ^ History of the name of Castleknock.
  2. ^ Vicissitudes of Families by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, Longman Green Longman and Roberts, Paternoster Row, London, 1861 (pages 363-364)
  3. ^ According to the "Local Government Act, 2001", section 10(2): "The State continues to stand divided into local government areas to be known as counties and cities which are the areas set out in Parts 1 and 2, respectively, of Schedule 5." It is clear from SCHEDULE 5, Local Government Areas (Counties and Cities, PART 1, that "Dublin" is defined only as a city (as distinct from a county).
  4. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland, retrieved January 27 2012.
  5. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - Chapelizod

External links[edit]