'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage’ is a work in progress, commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, and due to be completed in the autumn of 2008. The following tale represents research I have undertaken for the project which may or may not be used in the final book.
North Lotts - Nicknamed ‘Newfoundland’, the North Lotts were so-called because, in 1717, Dublin Corporation set up a lottery for the distribution of these new lands. To keep matters simple, these lots were duly gifted to the Corporation members.
Spencer Dock - The dock where the Royal Canal cuts through Sheriff Street was opened on 15th April, 1873 by Earl Spencer, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mayor Street – Named in 1773 after the senior title of office in the Corporation of Dublin. Mayor Square is a 21st century creation.
Sheriff Street - Named in 1773 after the title of office in the Corporation of Dublin.
Excise Walk: A new pedestrian route linking North Wall Quay to Mayor Square and named for the handsome brown brick building of ‘His Majesty’s Excise Store’ on Mayor Street. Built in 1821, this was formerly an enormous barrel-vaulted structure that stretched all the way to the North Wall Quay. The Excise Store is thought to be the work of George Papworth.
Commons Street – Named for the Commissioners, now Councillors, on the old Municipal Council of Dublin. It is said that Molly Malone lived on this street.
Guild Street – Named in 1773 for the Guilds from which the Corporation of Dublin was then composed.
Nixon Street – Named for a family who owned property in the area, this street was built upon a spur pool of the Royal Canal Docks filled during the 1840s.
Castleforbes Road & Square - Named for an old manor house, built in 1729, for the family of George Forbes, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1740. The house is presumed to have stood on the latter day site of T & C Martin's timber yard where Matt Talbot worked. The tablet saying ‘Castle Forbes 1729’ is apparently set into the wall of the Lever Brothers building on Sheriff Street.
New Wapping Street – Probably named after the London dock district or after Wapping Quay in Derry.
Oriel Street – Named for the Rt Hon John Foster, created Baron Oriel in 1821, last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and a member of the Corporation for Improving the Port of Dublin. When the Irish Parliament voted itself out of existence in favour of the Act of Union, Foster, a staunch anti-unionist, announced the result and took possession of the Silver Mace (now on display in the Bank of Ireland, College Green).
Seville Place – Most probably named in recognition of the liberation of Seville in Spain by the British during the Peninsula War in 1812. The film directors Jim and Peter Sheridan grew up on this street.
Whitworth Row - Dating to 1821, No. 4 was home to William Carleton, the controversial Ulster novelist, in the 1830s and 1840s.
Canon Lillis Avenue – Named for Canon William Lillis, a native of Co Clare and parish priest of St Laurence O’Toole Church for many years.