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Dublin City – Streetwise

The etymology for the names of the streets, bridges, docks and other landmarks of Dublin. This is mainly focused on the docklands area as it is based on work I did for my 2008 book, ‘Dublin Docklands – An Urban Voyage’, which was commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority




Custom House Docks


Amiens Street: Named for the Viscount Amiens, the title created in 1777 for the eldest son and heir of the 1st Earl of Aldborough. Their family home stood on nearby Portland Row close to the Five Lamps.

Beresford Place: Named for the Right Hon. John Beresford, 1st Commissioner of the Irish Revenue, who conceived both the Custom House and Carlisle (now O’Connell) Bridge.

Buckingham Street: Named for George Grenville, Marquis of Buckingham, who, having created the Order of St Patrick, went on to become one of the least popular of Ireland’s Georgian Viceroys.

Butt Bridge: Named for Sir Isaac Butt, the Donegal barrister who founded the Irish Home Rule movement.

Foley Street: Formerly known as World’s End Lane, this was renamed named Montgomery Street in 1776 after one of the Montgomery sisters, Elizabeth (wife of Luke Gardiner) or Barbara (wife of John Beresford). It subsequently became home to the sculptors Edward Smyth and John Henry Foley, creator of the O’Connell Monument, for whom the street was renamed in 1908. As ‘The Monto’ this was a notorious haven for prostitution in Victorian times.

George’s Dock: Named for George IV who was scheduled to officially open the dock in 1821 but failed to show up on the day.

Inner Dock: The dock beside George’s Dock was originally named Revenue Dock after the Commissioners of Revenue who paid for its construction.

James Joyce Street: Named for the famous Dubliner, author of Ulysses and other works.

Killarney Street: Formerly Gloucester Steer, the reason for this name is unknown at present.

Memorial Road: Constructed on land formerly occupied by the Old Dock, this was named in memory of those members of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army who gave their lives during the War of Independence.

Portland Row: Named for William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, who relinquished the post of Viceroy to become Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783. The boxer Kellie Harrington, who won a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (the ones held in 2021 because of Covid) was born here.

Store Street: Named for the Custom House stores and warehouses built here in conjunction with the Custom House itself in the 1780s.

North Strand: This approximately marked the high-water tidal shoreline of the Liffey estuary until reclaimed by the construction of the North Wall in the early 18th century.

Talbot Memorial Bridge: Named in memory of both the Venerable Matt Talbot and those members of the Dublin Brigade killed in the War of Independence.

Talbot Street: Named for Charles Chetwynd, 2nd Earl Talbot, who disembarked at the Pigeon House in 1817 to take up duties as Viceroy. He left in 1821, spending the remainder of his life at the family home of Alton Towers in England.



North Wall


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.

Castleforbes Road & Square: Named for a castellated mansion of the Forbes family which stood at the junction of Sheriff Street and Castleforbes Road (which was originally called Fish Street.) The Forbes family were merchants, with sugar, rum, linen and glass interests, who held office as Lord Mayors of Dublin five times between 1720 and 1772. James Forbes of Castleforbes was a Quaker by 1784.

Commons Street: Originally Common Street, without the ‘s’, this is reputed to have been where Molly Malone lived. The jury is out over the origin of the name. Some say it derives from the Commissioners, now Councillors, on the old Municipal Council of Dublin. Others propose it was named for the (Irish) House of Commons?

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.

Guild Street: Named in 1773 for the Guilds from which the Corporation of Dublin was then composed.

Mayor Street: Named in 1773 after the senior title of office in the Corporation of Dublin. Mayor Square is a 21st century creation. In 2020, Johnny Ronan announced plans for a boutique hotel after paying €3.8m for the terrace of houses at 34-38 Upper Mayor Street, located beside the Ronan Group’s Project Waterfront site.

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. This was later replaced by St Bridget’s Gardens Flats (Sheriff Street flats).

Newfoundland Street: Replaced, alongside Nixon Street, by St Bridget’s Gardens Flats (Sheriff Street flats), this was a continuation of Nixon Street and was reputed to have been profoundly impoverished. There were houses on lanes that were themselves off lanes.

New Wapping Street: Probably named after the London dock district or after Wapping Quay in Derry. The original Wapping Street, one block west, was subsumed into the railway yards. See here. The northern end of Wapping Street seemed to have gained the name Holyhead Street, after the port of Holyhead in Wales which is where the cattle driven along the street were destined.

North Lotts: Named for the prizes in a lottery of 1717 set up by Dublin Corporation for the distribution of these newly reclaimed lands. To keep matters simple, the lots were duly gifted to the Corporation members. The principal streets nearby were developed by the Corporation in the 1770s, including Mayor and Sheriff Streets (named for the office titles), Guild Street (for the guilds from which the Corporation was composed) and Common Street (possibly for the Commissioners, now Councillors, on the old Municipal Council of Dublin.)

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).

Sheriff Street: Named in 1773 after the title of office in the Corporation of Dublin.

Spencer Dock: The dock where the Royal Canal cuts through Sheriff Street was opened on 15 April 1873 by Earl Spencer, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was designed to accommodate coal ships belonging to the Midland and Great Western Railway Company. Earl Spencer, a friend of the British prime minister W. E. Gladstone and a two-time Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was an avid supporter of Irish Home Rule. His greatest legacy was to oversee the introduction of the first Land Bill to recognise tenant rights in Ireland. Known as the Red Earl on account of his rich, red, bushy beard, he was succeeded as earl by his brother Bobby, great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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. In 1882, the Religious Sisters of Charity opened a convent here from which they ran a school and cooked nourishing ‘Penny Dinners’ for poor families and expectant mothers in the locality. The Christian Brothers also opened a school on the street, now run under the Trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust. Founded on Seville Place in 1901, the Saint Laurence O’Toole G.A.A. club had a dramatic time in the revolutionary period. Over 70 members served in the Easter Rebellion of 1916, after which Tom Clarke, president of the club’s pipe band, and Sean Mac Dermott, a club member, were executed. Nine O’Toole’s footballers were on the Dublin team playing Tipperary at Croke Park when the infamous Bloody Sunday massacre took place in 1920. Many of the fleeing Tipperary players were hidden in O’Toole houses on Seville Place. O’Toole’s won the Dublin Senior Club Football Championship eleven times between 1918 and 1946.

Whitworth Row: Dating to 1821, No. 4 was home to William Carleton, the controversial Ulster novelist, in the 1830s and 1840s.




East Wall


Abercorn Street: Named for James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1866–1868 and 1874–1876. He was also Grand Master of the Freemasons of Ireland from 1874 until his death.

Alfie Byrne Road: Named after the popular Irish nationalist politican, known variously as the ‘Children’s Lord Mayor’ and the ‘Shaking Hand of Dublin’.

Annesley Bridge: Originally built in 1797 and named after the Hon. Richard Annesley, sometime Commissioner of Irish Excise (1786–1795), Irish Customs (1802–1806) and director of the Royal Canal Company. His wife was a sister of Commissioner Beresford. He succeeded his brother as 2nd Earl Annelsey in 1802. The present bridge dates to 1926.

Bargy Road: Many streets in the East Wall were named in honour of the United Irishmen’s 1798 rebellion in Wexford. This road is named after the barony of Bargy in Wexford and was built in 1932. Others Wexford baronies in the East Wall are recalled by Shelmalier Road and Forth Road, while Killan Road and Boolavogue Avenue are named after revolutionary hotspots in Wexford.

Blythe Avenue: Possibly named for Ernest Blythe, Minister for Finance in President W. T. Cosgrave’s first government and later managing director of the Abbey Theatre. As a young man, he joined St Laurence O’Toole GAA and was a friend of Sean O’Casey.

Caledon Road: Some suggest this was simply named by former residents of Caledon, Co Armagh, who had moved to the East Wall to work with the Great Northern Railway.

Church Road: One of the three main arteries of East Wall (along with West Road and East Road), dating to the mid 18th century. Church Road once linked with Seville Place in North Wall and appears to have been named for a church, planned but never built. An air raid bunker off Church Road is said to have been connected by a tunnel to O’Connell Street but was filled in a few years ago.

Coburg Place: Built in 1817 and named for the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Bavaria into which the luckless Princess Charlotte, only child of George IV, was married in 1816. Queen Victoria’s husband and her mother both descended from this same family.

East Road: One of the three main arteries of East Wall (along with West Road and Church Road), dating to the mid 18th century.

East Wall Road: Named for the first enclosing wall built in the early 18th century in order to reclaim the mud flats of the North Strand upon which East Wall now stands. The older generation also called this Wharf Road after a bather’s slip constructed in the 18th century, now under reclaimed land.

Fairfield Avenue: Named for the Fairfield Shipyard in Glasgow. The original buildings, still called the Scotch Buildings, were built for the Glaswegian workers who came to work in Dublin during the early 19th century.

Five Lamps: Named for an ornamental lamp-lit drinking fountain built in memory of Galway born General Henry Hall, CB, of the Indian Army.

Forth Road: Probably named after the barony in Wexford although a Miss Forth owned land here prior to 1815.

Hawthorn Terrace: Unknown at present. In the 1880s, Hawthorn Terrace was populated by Ships Captains, Bottle Blowers and Mechanics, employed in factories nearby. Amongst these was the family of young Sean O’Casey.

Count John McCormack. Illustration by Derry Dillon, extracted from Past Tracks (2021).

John McCormack Bridge: Situated on the Alfie Byrne Road, this twin-spanned concrete reinforced structure crosses the River Tolka right at the point where it enters Dublin Bay near East Wall Road. It was named after the great Irish tenor on the occasion of his centenary in 1984.

Johnny Cullen’s Hill: Named for Johnny Cullen’s dairy which stood at the foot of the hill.

Luke Kelly Bridge (Ballybough Bridge): At Tony Gregory’s suggestion, the Ballybough Bridge was renamed the Luke Kelly Bridge after the legendary folk musician and founding member of The Dubliners.

Malachi Place: Probably named for High King Malachy II, elder brother of Brian Boru. The 19th century poet Thomas Caulfield Irwin once lived here.

Merchant’s Road: Built by the Merchant Warehousing Company in 1980 to house its own workforce. During the 1913 Lock Out, the company evicted some residents who refused to sign the decleration.

Moyelta Road: Named for the burial place of Partholón who traditionally led his people into Ireland after the Great Flood. The word is a play on Sheanmháigh Ealta Eadair, referring to the plain that runs north and north-east from Dublin upon which the birds of Ireland once basked.

Newcomen Avenue: Named for controversial banker Sir William Gleadowe Newcomen, one of the directors of the Royal Canal Company in 1791 and former owner of Carriglass Manor in County Longford.

North Strand Road: This road marks part of the original coastline that ran from close to the Abbey Theatre up Amiens Street and Ballybough Road to the Luke Kelly Bridge and onwards to Fairview. The street was created after the Ballast Office built the North Wall in the early 1700s.

Ossory Road: Possibly named for the diocese of Ossory, of which Commissioner Beresford’s brother became Bishop in 1789. It is now home to the Crosbie’s Yard apartments, designed by Scott Tallon Walker and built by Sisk.

Ravensdale Street: Named after the town of Ravensdale on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth.

Russell Avenue: Unknown at present, the street features on the 1911 Census and includes a small row of artisan cottages. The houses here were built by Dublin Corporation in the 1930s.

St Mary’s Road: Unknown at present.

Seaview Avenue: Named for its fine view of the Irish Sea at the time.

Stoney Road: Named for Dr Bindon Blood Stoney, engineer-in-chief to the Port and Docks Board, who lived in Fir House on Church Road.

Strangford Road: Along with St Barnabas Gardens and Strangford Gardens, these were built by the Rev DH Hall‘s pioneering building society.

Teeling Way: Named for the late Joe Teeling, founder of the Amateur Sports Karate Organization and the East Wall Water Sports Club at East Point Bridge. He was also one of the key players in the construction of the Dyflin, a replica Viking long ship.

The Smoothing Iron: Named for a large granite stone at the ‘slip’ on East Wall (Wharf) Road, once used for berthing ferries to Clontarf Island. It was also a popular diving board in the early 20th century.

West Road: One of the three main arteries of East Wall (along with East Road and Church Road), dating to the mid 18th century.




Westland Row and the South Quays


Admiral William Browne, photographed circa 1847.

Admiral Brown Walk: A walkway established circa 2007 and named for the red-headed Mayo-born Admiral William Brown, founder of the Argentine Navy. In Argentina, Brown has two towns, 1,000 streets, 500 statues, a sizeable city and several football clubs named after him. The monument is a bronze replica of one at Belgrano, recast from the original 1957 mould, and presented to Ireland by the Argentine Navy.

Boyne Street: Named for the battlefield on which William of Orange secured victory for the Protestant establishment. During the 1920s, Dublin Corporation built a number of houses here alongside stables used by coal-carrying dray horses.

Cardiff Lane: Named for Matthew Cardiff, or Kerdiff, shipbuilder of Manx origin who moved his shipyard to here from City Quay in 1786. His foreman was John Hammond, a friend of the Emmets and Sarah Curran, who in 1797 abandoned shipbuilding to become a harpsichord maker. Cardiff’s yard later became Sheridan’s coal yard and is now the site of the Clayton Hotel (formerly the Maldron) and the ESRI.

City Quay: Named for the City who somewhat reluctantly paid for the construction of the quay when its original lessee became ill.

Clarence Place: Named for the Duke of Clarence, later William IV, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1830 to 1837.

Creighton Street: Named for the family of Abraham Crichton, 1st Baron Erne of Crom Castle. His wife Elizabeth was granddaughter and heiress of Sir John Rogerson. The street connects City Quay and Hanover Street East.

Cumberland Street: Built in 1773 and named for William Augustus, 2nd Duke of Cumberland and son of George II. He was known as ‘The Butcher’ for his violent suppression of the Jacobite rebels over after the battle of Culloden Moor in 1746.

Denzille Lane: Named for the family of John Holles, 1st Earl of Clare, for whom Clare Street, Holles Street and Denzille Street (now Fenian Street) were also named. His mother Ann was co-heiress and daughter of John Denzill, of Denzill in Cornwall. One of the Earl’s daughters married Charles I’s notorious henchman, ‘Black Tom’ Wentworth, while another married the 2nd Viscount Fitzwilliam, laird of Ringsend. The Earldom refers to Clare in Suffolk rather than the Irish county.

Erne Street Upper & Lower: Named for Abraham Crichton, 1st Baron Erne of Crom Castle, Co Fermanagh and father of the 1st Earl of Erne. His wife was the Rogerson heiress.

Fenian Street: Formerly Denzille Street and renamed Fenian Street after the Fenian leaders who operated from here in the 1850s. The art deco Archer’s Garage, illegally demolished in 1999, was the first building in Ireland to be made of reinforced concrete and to be fitted with fluorescent lighting.

George’s Quay: Formerly Mercer’s Dock, this was rebuilt as a quay in about 1714 and named for the new King George I who ruled from 1714 to 1727. The shimmering glazed and copper-crowned pyramid of George’s Quay Plaza (2003) and the Ulster Bank headquarters (2000) form a landmark known by wags as Canary Dwarf.

Gloucester Street: Located to the rear of City Quay Church, this was known as Martin’s Lane in the 1720s but was renamed in 1756 for William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of George III and Chancellor of Trinity College from 1771 to 1805.

Great Brunswick Street: The former name for Pearse Street commemorated the German Duchy of Brunswick, owned by the Electors of Hanover, from where George IVs Queen Caroline came.

Hanover Street East: A number of warehouses in the area date to the 1890s and may be associated with the short-lived Dublin City Distillery, capable of producing 1,500,000 gallons of whiskey per year. The distillery operated from 1890 to 1905. Brooking 1728 shows reclamation of lands south of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay including Hanover Street crossed by Lime Street. Rocque does not extend to the above – it shows Moss Street and Princes Street. Wilson (1801) shows Hanover Street as an extension of Townsend Street feeding into Grand Canal Docks and corresponds to present day Misery Hill. McCready gives Hanover-street as west of George’s Quay with a date of 1766; he does not refer to Misery Hill.

Hogan Place: Formerly Wentworth Place, this was renamed for John Hogan (1800–1858), the Waterford-born sculptor and nationalist who lived here for the last nine years of his life. Among his best-known works are a statue of Daniel O’Connell and The Farrell Memorial, completed in 1841, now in St Andrew’s Church, Westland Row.

Lazar Hill: Now known as Townsend Street (see separate entry), the name Lazar’s Hill derived from the word ‘Lazaretto’, meaning quarantine station and referred to a hospice built here for lepers embarking on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Iago de Compostela. De Gomme’s map shows Lazars Hill ending at present day Sandwith Street. There is then the wide-open sweep of Dublin Bay reaching to Ringsend. Grand Canal Docks did not appear until the late 18th century. Misery Hill is located there now

Leo Fitzgerald House: Named for a decorator’s son from Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) who joined the 3rd Battalion of the IRA. In March 1921, Fitzgerald, his brother-in-law [later General] Seán MacMahon, Seán MacBride and others ambushed a Black and Tan convoy on Sandwith Street. When the Tans returned fire, Fitzgerald was hit and died on the steps of Pearse Street Library.

Lime Street: In the 18th century, daubing a ship’s planks with burnt lime powder was the preferred method for disinfecting wooden ships. Many of the quicklime stores were based here on this street. Brooking’s map of 1728 shows reclamation of lands south of Sir J Rogerson’s Quay including Hanover Street crossed by Lime Street.

Lombard Street: The street on which the General Registrar Office is presently located was originally known as Harvey’s Yard. Together with Peterson’s Lane (now Lombard Street East), this contained shipbuilding materials that ran all the way down to City Quay. In about 1794, it was renamed for James FitzGerald Lombard, JP, a merchant who purchased property here in a venture with Sir John Arnott and Edward McMahon. In 1858, the Irish Republican Brotherhood held its first meeting at 16 Lombard Street, home of Peter Langan, lathe-maker and timber merchant.

Luke Street: The connection between City Quay and Townsend street was named for St Luke in 1756, probably in connection with the nearby Lock Hospital for Incurables on Townsend Street.

The sea-faring Duke of Clarence, later William IV, for whom Macken Street was once named.

Macken Street: The street was originally Great Clarence Street, named for William IV, the Sailor King, and immediate predecessor to his niece Queen Victoria. In 1923, Dublin Corporation renamed the street for Peader Macken, an ardent Gaelic revivalist and Labour alderman for the South Dock Ward. He attended the meeting at which the Easter Rising was planned but was killed by accident in the fighting at Boland’s Mills.

Magennis Court: The birthplace of the late comedian Danny Cummins, Magennis Court may have been named for the poet Bernard Magennis, editor of the Dublin newspaper The Social Mirror and Temperance Advocate.

Markiewicz House: Named for the Sligo-born Rebel Countess who served in the Easter Rebellion as President of Cumann na mBan, the woman’s Nationalist movement.

Martin’s Terrace: Named for Sir Richard Martin’s timber yard which lay behind the wall on the site now occupied by An Post’s Dublin 2 Delivery Office. Sir Richard, an affluent ship-owner, was Chairman of the Port Authority from 1899 until his death in 1901. In 1926, its trade was taken over by T&C Martin, founded by Sir Richard’s cousin. The corrugated warehouse opposite the brown-brick terraced row was erected by Patrick Kelly & Co of Portlaoise.

Moss Street: Formerly called Moss Lane, this was probably a corruption of ‘Mercer’s Lane’, though some claim it was named for Dr Bartholomew Mosse, the pioneering surgeon who established the world’s first purpose-built maternity hospital at the Rotunda. The City Arts Centre on the riverfront was formerly Eckford’s Ships’ Chandlers Emporium, selling ‘everything from copper nails to ships’ anchors’, while Doherty’s coal-yard and McCann Verdon ship’s chandlers were also on the street. Rocque’s map shows Moss Street and Princes Street.

Pearse Square: Formerly Queen’s Square, this enclosed, fully serviced development was laid out in the 1830s and named for the new Queen Victoria, crowned in 1837. Many of its early residents were actors associated with the Queen’s Royal Theatre on Pearse Street.

Pearse Street: Originally known as Great Brunswick Street, this is one of the longest streets in Dublin. It was renamed in December 1921 for the Easter 1916 heroes, Padraig and Willie Pearse. Up until the 1960s, the tram came down Pearse Street from Nelson’s Pillar to Sandymount. Among the landmarks on the street in the 1880s were Giuseppe Cervi’s (Dublin’s first Fried Fish & Chips shop), O’Neill’s and The Pearse Tavern, the Gilbert Library, St Andrew’s Resource Centre and several minority churches.

Queen’s Terrace: A now vanished row that ran parallel to the east end of Pearse Street, a model of the area in St Andrew’s Resource Centre shows pigs munching in the back yards and a large cow shed.

Rope Walk South: Located between Erne Street and Lime Street, this was named in about 1773 for the practice of winding hundred-yard lengths of hemp rope which took place here when all ships required ropes.

Sandwith Street: Named for Quaker businessman Joseph Sandwith, one of the Commissioners of the Ballast Board who set up the Port and Docks Board. This street was the Liffey shoreline 400 years ago. To this day, certain premises have to pump water out of their basements at spring and neap tides.

Shaw Street: Named for Sir Robert Shaw of Bushy Park, Tory MP for Dublin from 1804 to 1826.

Spring Garden Lane: Named for the market gardens shown here on Rocque’s map in 1756, this small street off Pearse Street is now crossed by a railway and is home to a Baptist church and various ESB offices.

Tara Street: Named for the ancient Royal capital of Ireland at the Hill of Tara, Co Meath. The present street dates to 1885 and was rebuilt as an extension of Butt Bridge, comprising the former alleys, Stocking Lane and Shoe Lane, and part of George’s Street. The multi-storey Fireworks Nightclub occupies the central fire station built here in Edwardian times.

Townsend Street: In the 19th century, a ‘Townsender’ was the name of a miser who retired to a remote place to count his wealth. This referred to the fact that this street, formerly known as Lazar’s Hill, was a low, muddy and rambling coastline at the ‘end of the town’ running down through meadows to low crumbing cliffs. Despite the coincidence, it was most likely named after Field Marshal Viscount George Townsend, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767–1772. The first of the Magdalene Laundries (aka ‘rescue homes for fallen women’) was opened here in 1798 by Mrs Brigid Bourke and Patrick Quarterman. Five years later, two of Robert Emmet’s accomplices were hanged on the street. Wilson’s map of 1801 shows Hanover Street as an extension of Townsend Street feeding into Grand Canal Docks and corresponds to present day Misery Hill. The famous heavyweight boxer Dan Donnelly was born in Townsend Street in 1788 while No 6 was home to the first coffee palace in Ireland, run by the Dublin Total Abstinence Society. Founded in 1909, the Irish Transport & General Workers Union had its humble beginnings in a tenement in Townsend Street where it assets were ‘a couple of chairs, a table, two empty bottles and a candle’.

Wentworth Place: The original name for Hogan Place, named for Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Charles I’s Lord Deputy of Ireland. He was executed in 1641. His wife Lady Arabella Holles was a daughter of the 1st Earl of Clare.

Westland Row: Named for developer William Westland who purchased the site when it was a brickfield in 1710.

Whitaker Square: Named after the distinguished Irish economist and public servant, Dr TK Whitaker. He was one of the founders of the Economic and Social Research Institute, which is now located at Whitaker Square.

Windmill Lane:  Named for a windmill recorded to have stood here from at least 1823. The stump of the windmill remained until the 1960s. A former Bovril factory was converted into the prestigious Windmill Lane Recording Studios, later owned by Spice Girls and David Gray producers Biffco.




Grand Canal Docks


Asgard Road: A new road, named for the gaff rigged Ketch, now owned by Harry Crosbie, upon which Erskine sailed into Howth in 1914 with a cargo of German guns for the Irish Volunteers. The State-owned sail-training ship Asgard II was a major feature in the Docklands before its surprise sinking in the Bay of Biscay in 2008.

Benson Street: Built in the 1840s but not named until 1895, the street probably remembers Richard Benson who, along with Luke Gardiner, appears to have acquired much of the Rogerson estate by 1796. Another contender is the engineer Sir John Benson, Ireland’s answer to Brunel, knighted at the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1853. The old stores facing the Fitzwilliam Quay apartments are owned by Liam Carroll and scheduled for a mixed residential and commercial development.

Blood Stoney Road: Named for the celebrated engineering genius, Bindon Blood Stoney, who rebuilt Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in the 1880s.

Britain Quay: First built in 1727 and named for the island of Britain which it faces, the quay was completed during the Grand Canal Docks project of the 1790s. In the late 19th century, this became a regular mooring point for steam trawlers. In 1907, the South Hailing Station was built here, a fine salmon pink building from which all quayside traffic was directed. The Station was dismantled at 7 o’clock one Sunday morning in 2007. The site was later the designated location for the 140m high U2 Tower, which never came to pass.

Butler’s Court: The entrance to Benson Street is named after Butler’s Chocolates who were formerly located here, but also recalls the Butler family, Earls and Dukes of Ormonde, who once received the duties on all wine imported into Ireland

Charlotte Quay: Like Charlotte Bridge, this was named for Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent, who married Leopold, King of the Belgians but died in childbirth in 1817. She was named for her grandmother, Charlotte of Mecklenburg, wife of George III.

Chocolate Factory Park: A public park from circa 2007, inspired by Roald Dahl’s tale, ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’.

Forbes Street: Probably named for the George Forbes, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1720, a key player in the South Lotts allotments.

Green Street:  The rather elaborate limestone warehouses here were formerly icehouses belonging to the Dublin Steam Trawling Ice and Cold Storage Co. Ltd. In 1940, the company’s ship Leukos was rounding the Donegal coast when attacked by a German submarine. The Leukos and her crew of 11 were lost. The Irish Seamen’s Relatives Association maintains that the Leukos had attempted to ram the U-38 as it threatened some nearby British trawlers. The Raleigh factory was also based here.

Hogan Place: Formerly known as Artichoke Road after a small artichoke farm planted here in the 17th century. The farmer was John Villiboise, a French refugee, who had leased some reclaimed marsh-land from Viscount Fitzwilliam. When the terrace was built here, it was named Wentworth Place, after Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, whose father had inherited both the Wentworth and Fitzwilliam fortunes. No. 12 Wentworth Place was home to a “factory and timber yard” run by Robert Strahan & Co., the furnishing company that made the furniture for Lisnavagh House, as well as doll’s houses. See more on Strahan’s via NMI website. The street was renamed in 1924 for the prolific Irish sculptor John Hogan who lived at No. 14 from 1849 until his death in 1858.

Horse Fair Road: Named for a horse-fair said to have been held in the South Lotts in the 18th century.

Grand Canal Square: Built upon 0.6 acres and designed by Martha Schwartz, the former gasworks site and officially opened in June 2007.

Green Street: An open space until 1865 when Stoney re-faced the quayside so that it could cater to the increasing numbers of steamships.

Hanover Quay: Named for the family of George I, Elector of Hanover, who was invited to Britain by the Protestant elite in 1714 to secure the throne from the Jacobites. Much of the area around Grand Canal Dock is named for the House of Hanover. Pearse Street was formerly called Brunswick Street after the German duchy in which the city of Hanover is situated. Charlotte Bridge and Charlotte Quay were named for Princess Charlotte, only daughter of the Prince Regent (later George IV). Her death in childbirth in 1817 meant her cousin Victoria became queen in 1837. Victoria’s name is on the bridge that carries the DART and Irish Rail’s southbound services across the Grand Canal Basin.

Hanover Street: Also named for the German royal family. The Sorting Office development on the corner of Cardiff Lane and Hanover Street East, opposite the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, was to become a base for 2000 Google employees until the deal fell through in September 2020.

Long Boat Quay: The name recalls the ships in which the Norse Vikings sailed from Scandinavia and established their colony on Dublin.

Maquay Bridge: The first proper Grand Canal bridge was named for George Maquay (1758-1820), director of the Grand Canal Company and one of the founding members of the Ballast Board. Maquay (sometimes Macquay) orchestrated the sale of Pigeon House Harbour to the Admiralty. In 1819, he and Leland Crosthwaite commissioned surveyor Francis Giles to assist George Halpin in building the North Bull Wall. His son John Leland Maquay junior (1791-1868) was co-founder of the Pakenham & Maquay bank of Florence.

MacMahon Bridge: Named for General Sean MacMahon (1894–1955) who served with de Valera at Boland’s Mill in 1916 and subsequently became Chief of Staff in the Irish Free State.

Misery Hill: It has been said that in medieval times, this was the last refuge for those Lazar Hill pilgrims bound for Saint Iago de Compostella who could not afford to stay in the more upmarket hospice. However, in 2020, Michael Cregan used maps to comprehensively prove that Misery Hill is a product of reclamation works along the Liffey since the 17th century and that it did not exist in the medieval period. It apparently derives its name from an age when the corpses of those executed at Gallows Hill (near Upper Baggot Street / Mount Street) were carted here and strung up to rot as a warning to other would-be troublemakers. Two of Robert Emmet’s accomplices were allegedly hanged at Misery Hill on 17 September 1803. It’s hard to know how much of is fact or fiction. I don’t think there is any record of the name Misery Hill, but I am willing to stand corrected. De Gomme’s map shows it as part of an empty, open sweep running around Dublin Bay reaching to Ringsend. [Grand Canal Docks did not appear until the late 18th century.] The Cork Advertising Gazette of 1 July 1857 has this rather grim (and once-off?) reference to Mount Misery Lane: ‘On Sunday morning, between two and three o’clock, at Mount Misery lane, Lime-street, Dublin, a man named John Hughes, sailor, stabbed a man named Brunton, in the abdomen, with a long dagger knife, inflicting a fearful wound, from the results of which it is not expected the sufferer will recover. It appears that the prisoner had some quarrel with his family, and rushed out into the street exclaiming that he would stab the first person he met. Brunton unfortunately came in his way, when Hughes at once rushed at and stab bed him. The unfortunate man died from the effects of the wound, and Hughes has been committed to take his trial for the homicide.’
Also of note the Freeman’s Journal, 22 July 1886, refers to Misery Lane was ‘formerly known as Hanover Street.’ [Confusingly I think that there was another Hanover Lane over by Francis Street]
A poetry collection called ‘Misery Hill’ by David Wheatley was published by Gallery Press in 2000. There is a wonderful moment in JP Donleavy’s book ‘The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B’, when the enchanting Balthazar is sent galloping down the ‘the wet gleaming cobble stones’ of the quays, ‘by all the long rusting sides of ships’. His flight was prompted by a surprise encounter with ‘an old grey bewhiskered face … staring and mad’, clasping a lump of coal one hand by a bunker on Misery Hill.

Rogerson’s Quay: Named for Sir John Rogerson, a former Lord Mayor of Dublin who privately funded the construction of the original wall on which the quay now stands. Brooking (1728) shows reclamation of lands south of Rogerson’s Quay including Hanover Street crossed by Lime Street. Rocque does not extend to the above – it shows Moss Street and Princes Street.

Sir John Rogerson’s Quay: See Rogerson’s Quay.

Wentworth Terrace:  A terrace of houses built in 1836 and named for the Wentworth-Watson family of the  Marquess of Rockingham with whom the Fitzwiliam family were intermarried.




South Lotts


The South Lotts originally referred to 51 reclaimed plots of land directly behind City Quay sold to the highest bidder in 1723. In time, the term was applied to a considerably wider and less definable area. For the purpose of this section South Lotts concerns those lands bordered by Barrow Street, Ringsend Road, South Lotts Road and Grand Canal Street. Some jokingly refer to this as ‘No Man’s Land’. Others call it ‘Googleland’. But for many who live there, this is simply the South Lotts.

On 23 January 1871, Henry Nicholas Courtney leased to Alliance and Dublin Consumers Gas Company a ‘lot of ground lying between Barrow Street and the South Lotts road at the North side of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway’. The redbrick terraced cottages along the northern end of South Lotts Road were built between about 1890 and 1915 by J&W Beckett, a contracting firm run. James and William Beckett were the sons of a silk weaver of Huguenot origin. James was co-founder of the revived Dublin Master Builders’ Association in 1895, while William was grandfather of the Nobel Prize winning writer Samuel Beckett. Gerald, Howard and Gordon Streets may even be named for William’s sons, although Gordon is also presumed to be a nod to General Gordon, a British imperial war hero, who was killed at Khartoum, Sudan, in 1885. The jury is still out as to why Doris, Penrose, Ormeau, Hope and Joy Streets are so-named; the ‘artisan dwellings’ on those streets were completed between the 1901 and 1911 census. South Lotts was owned by the Courtney family, who shared the cost of constructing the houses with Dublin Corporation and Pembroke Town Council.

Barrow Street: The street was created using hard earth dug out from the nearby Grand Canal Docks and named for the river to which the Grand Canal was connected via the Barrow Navigation in 1790. The street’s best known buildings include the headquarters of Google’s European operations and The Factory where U2 put the polish on many of their albums. Grand Canal Station occupies the former site of the Dublin & Wicklow Railway Company yard.

Doris Street: This was probably part of the scheme built by Samuel Beckett’s uncle James Beckett in the first decade of the 20th century. It may have been named for a celebrated gilder who lived here in more recent times.

Emerald Cottages: The Ordnance Survey map of 1876 records an engine and carriage factory approximately where these cottages stand today.

Gerald Street: Possibly named for Samuel Beckett’s uncle Dr Gerald Beckett (1886-1950), Wicklow County Medical Officer and sometime president of Greystones Golf Club. Gerald Paul Gordon Beckett was born on 28 June 1886. His father William Frank Beckett senior built the cottages.

Gordon Street: Possibly named for Charles George Gordon (1833–1885), aka General Gordon, a British imperial war hero, who was killed at Khartoum, Sudan, in 1885. In 1860, he personally supervised the burning of the Chinese Emperor’s summer palace in Peking for which he became known as ‘Chinese Gordon’. It should be noted that one of William Beckett’s sons was called Gerald Paul Gordon Beckett, born 28 June 1886, and perhaps named for the general. In 1900, Thom’s Directory noted that construction was underway for 28 small houses on the street. By 1902, another 28 were under construction. In 1904, Thom’s recorded the names of 40 residents (without any stated profession) who had moved into numbers 30 – 70, as well as Philip Cleary’s provision stores. For instance, John Fleming lived at 42, Mr Edward Davey at 45, Mr Abraham Davey at 46 and Mrs O’Shea at 61.

Hastings Street: Named for Francis Rawdon Hastings (1754-1826), 2nd Earl of Moira and, from 1817, Marquis of Hastings. This County Down man served with distinction against the American rebels in 1771 and went on to become commander of all the British forces in India. He sided with Wilberforce against slavery and successfully annihilated several pirate nests on the coasts of Oman and Kuwait. In 1819, he purchased Singapore.

Hope Street: Named for the spirit of hope that accompanied these new constructions.

Howard Street: Probably named for Howard Beckett, born 23 January 1888, son of William Frank Beckett senior. He did have an older brother Francis Howard Beckett, born 23rd Sept 1878, died 19 August 1883, so the name may also reference this young boy. Howard was an uncle of Samuel Beckett the playwright.

Joy Street: Was this named for the much-esteemed emotion of great happiness? Or is there more to it than that!?

Ormeau Street:  Recalls the names of Belfast’s oldest municipal park and the name may be a nod to the Belfast residents who moved to the area.

Penrose Street: Possibly named by Ringsend glassworkers after George and William Penrose who founded the Penrose Glass House in Waterford in 1783. The company later became Waterford Crystal.

Ringsend Road: The No. 2 Dublin Bus garage was formerly the Ringsend Permanent Way Yard used to store all the tracks, poles and wiring required for maintenance of the tramway system. In 1929, the operation transferred to Donnybrook.

Somerset Street: Probably named for the 12th Duke of Somerset (1804 – 1886), a staunch opponent of Gladstone’s Irish policies. His wife was a granddaughter of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

South Dock Street: Named for the ‘South Docks’, otherwise known as the Grand Canal Docks.

South Lotts Road: Dates to at least 1721 when a road was built linking Britain Quay through South Dock Road to the Artichoke Road (now Shelbourne Road and Grand Canal Street). The redbrick terraced houses along the northern end were built by Samuel Beckett’s uncle James between about 1890 and 1910. The houses at the southern end date to 1930. This is also home to the Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium and the landmark Gasworks residential scheme.




Ringsend & Irishtown


Portrait of Mary Aikenhead.

Aikenhead Terrace: Named for the Protestant-born Mother Mary Aikenhead (1787-1858), who founded the Roman Catholic religious order, the Sisters of Charity, to help counter malnutrition, unemployment and fever.

Barrack Lane: Named for a small Victorian barracks that stood here. In 1865, Colonel Henry Lake’s constabulary left here to arrest nightdress-clad James Stephens and other Fenians at their villa hideaway nearby. Colonel Lake subsequently became Chief Commissioner of Police.

Bath Avenue: Opened in 1792 and probably named for the bathing establishments on Irishtown Strand to which it connected. Some suggest a connection to the Marquess of Bath who was responsible for the maintenance of all British and Irish Coastguard Stations and Lighthouses, including Poolbeg. All houses on the south side of Bath Avenue were built between 1840 and 1872; before that this was a salt marsh and the road a mere lane.

Bath Avenue Place: This small line of houses was built in the 1830s to link with the nearby railway station, located on the Bath Avenue – South Lotts triangle. This was the scene of a minor skirmish in 1916.

Beach Road: Created in the 1920s when walled off from the sea, this links Strand Road, built by the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in the 1790s, to Irishtown Strand and Bath Street.

Beggars Bush: Before the Dodder bridges and Grand Canal Docks tamed the area, Beggars Bush was a treacherous marshland crossed by a handful of rough tracks and wooden bridges. It was a notorious hang out for highwaymen and beggars.

Bremen Road & Bremen Grove: Built between 1978 and 1981 and named for a ship of the Cork Steamship Company which famously rescued Dutch seamen in 1940, but was sunk by Junker bombers in 1942.

Cambridge Road: Named in 1863 after Prince George (1819–1904), 2nd Duke of Cambridge, only son of Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of George III and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army for 39 years from 1857 to 1895.

Caroline Place: Named for Caroline of Brunswick, the ‘Injured Queen of England’. Husband George IV prosecuted her for divorce after an alleged affair with dance instructor Bartolomeo Pergami. She collapsed and died shortly after George’s Coronation, probably having poisoned herself.

Celestine Avenue: Named for Pope Celestine who sent St Patrick to Ireland.

Church Avenue: Continued the line from Haddington Road, Bath Avenue and Londonbridge Road to the strand and the baths. The Church refers to St Matthew’s Church.

Chapel Avenue: Named for a small red-brick Catholic chapel that survived the Penal Laws but vanished during the 1990s. This was the base for Father Peter Clinch, the popular young parish priest of Donnybrook, Irishtown and Ringsend, killed when an accidental blow from an oar broke his jaw in 1791.

Clonlara Road: Completed in 1978 and named for a steamship built in 1926 for the Limerick Steamship Company. It survived the carnage of Almeria Harbour in 1937, only to be torpedoed and sunk with eleven lives lost in 1941.

Cranfield Place: Named for Richard Cranfield (1731-1809), an eminent woodcarver, builder and owner of Cranfield’s Baths in Irishtown. There were separate baths for men and women and ‘unlimited supplies of pure sea-water and cold or hot shower baths, open seven months of the year’. Cranfield was perhaps best known for carving the President’s chair for the Royal Dublin Society. Thrice Master of the Carpenter’s Guild, he also co-founded the Society of Artists. Now home to St. Matthew’s National School, a Church of Ireland co-educational primary school.

Cymric Road: Named for the steel schooner that speared the tram at MacMahon Bridge and was lost on a voyage to Lisbon in 1944 with eleven lives.

Dodder Terrace: Built in the mid-19th century, the terrace is bookended by the former St Matthew’s Parish Girl’s School, built in 1905, which served as the Irishtown Gospel Hall from 1988 until  2006. The building was home to the Abundant Grace Christian Assembly (Pentecostal) from 2007 until 2013. The  handsome Rectory was converted into the Irishtown Garda station in the 1970s but has since, I believe, been demolished.

Ennis Grove: Named for Edward Ennis (1883–1916), a local man accidentally killed in crossfire during the 1916 Rising.

Dermot O’Hurley Lane: Formerly known as Watery Lane and Riverview Avenue, this was renamed in 1954 in memory of the Archbishop of Cashel tortured and strangled on Gallows Hill in 1583.

Derrynane Gardens: Laid out as part of the ‘Centenary Estate’ project in 1929, 100 years after Catholic Emancipation, and named for Daniel O’Connell’s ancestral home in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry. Also laid out in 1928-9 were Bath Avenue Gardens, O’Connell Gardens and the Malone Gardens.

Fitzwilliam Quay: Apartments by O’Mahony Pike

Fitzwilliam Street: Named for Richard Fitzwilliam (1745-1816), the 7th and last Viscount Fitzwilliam.

George Reynolds House: Completed in 1950 and named for a local silversmith and Gaelic Leaguer who held Clanwilliam House during the battle of Mount Street. He was killed shortly before the house went on fire. This was previously Alexandra Terrace, home to one of the famous Bartlett ‘Tar Bay’s’.

Havelock Square: Named for the land developer who built it during the 1860s. Not to be confused with Sir Henry Havelock (1795-1857), aide to General Gough, who died of fever during the Indian Mutiny.

Isolda Road: Completed in 1978 and and named for the Irish lights tender sunk within Irish territorial waters off Coningbeg by aerial bombing in 1940 with the loss of six lives. Another Isolde was launched in 1953.

Kelogue Road: Named for the motor-driven coaster, owned by the Stafford family of Wexford, which rescued the crew of the Bremen after it was sunk in 1942.

Kyleclare Road: Named for the Dundee-built merchant ship owned by the Limerick Steamship Company and torpedoed by a U-boat, with 18 lives lost, on returning from a coal delivery to a power station in Lisbon.

Leukos Road: Completed in 1978 and named for the Dublin Steam Trawling Company’s trawler torpedoed off the Donegal coast by a German U-boat in 1940 with a loss of eleven lives.

London Bridge: The name of a wooden bridge that crossed the unruly River Dodder, built in the first years of the 19th century as a link between the Beggars Bush Barracks and St Matthew’s Church in Irishtown. The present three-span masonry arched bridge was installed in 1857. The river wall between London Bridge and New Bridge was considerably strengthened in 2007 and 2008.

Malone Gardens: Built in 1928-1929 and named for Michael Malone (1888–1916), a carpenter and Volunteer killed in the battle of Mount Street Bridge.

Margaret Place: Built circa 1860, this was apparently renamed after Margaret Pearse, nee Brady, mother to the rebel leaders, Patrick and Willie Pearse.

O’Connell Gardens: Laid out as part of the ‘Centenary Estate’ project in 1929, 100 years after Catholic Emancipation. Also laid out in 1928-9 were Bath Avenue Gardens, Derrynane Gardens and the Malone Gardens.

Oliver Plunkett Avenue: Named for Saint Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, framed and executed for alleged complicity on a plot to kill the king. He was canonised a saint in 1975.

O’Rahilly House: Built in 1955, the house on Thorncastle Street was named for Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, the tempestuous Kerryman who became the only leader of the Easter Rising to die in action.

Pembroke Street: At the heart of Irishtown, named for the 11th Earl of Pembroke, who succeeded to ‘the principal portion of the property of the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam’ upon the latter’s death in 1816.

Philomena Terrace: Named for Saint Philomena, a young Greek princess said to have been martyred in the 4th century.

Pine Road: Built in 1978 and named for Irish Pine, an American built ship on charter to Irish Shipping Ltd torpedoed on an Atlantic run in 1942 with the loss of 33 men.

Rope Walk Place: Recalls the tarred hemp cables that were once stretched and twisted here to make ropes for rigging. There were many such ‘rope walks’ all over the docklands. Each one needed to be 100 yards long to wind a single rope.

Rosary Terrace: Named for the well-known prayer associated with Marian devotion.

St Mary Magdalen Terrace: Named for Jesus Christ’s devoted girlfriend.

Sean Moore Road: The main access road to the East Link Bridge is named for the long serving Fianna Fail TD, born in Ringsend, who served as Government Chief Whip to Charles Haughey in 1979.

Seapoint Terrace: Mr Murphy’s ‘Conniveing House’ and ladies’ baths, which were attended by Wolfe Tone’s wife in 1790, were located along the south-east wall of ‘My Lord’s Pond’.

Shamrock Avenue: The birthplace of the Shamrock Rovers Football Club.

Shelbourne Road: Originally part of the long stretch known as Artichoke Road after a series of artichoke gardens planted here in the 1670s. There was a small boat harbour close to where Slattery’s pub stands today. In 1832, Shelbourne Road was laid out and named for Henry Petty FitzMaurice, Earl of Shelbourne and later Marquess of Lansdowne. A kinsman of both the Pembrokes and Fitzwilliams, he served as Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary, advocating the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of Catholics. The Shelbourne Road tram shed was one of two places closed by William Martin Murphy in the 1913 Lockout.

South Lotts Road: Name for the 51 ‘allotments’ of reclaimed land directly behind City Quay which were sold to the highest bidder in 1723. The term ‘South Lotts’ was later applied to a considerably wider and less definable area. The socialist leader and 1916 patriot James Connolly lived for a period at 70 Rosetta Terrace which is assumed to have been 70 South Lotts Road.

Stella Gardens: This development of 183 small houses was opened in November 1916, designed by George O’Connor and named for Stella O’Neill, daughter of energetic Nationalist councillor Charles O’Neill, Chairman of the Pembroke Urban District Council.

Strasbourg Terrace: Built in 1871 and probably named by disgruntled Huguenots for the French city on the Rhine captured by Bismarck’s Prussian army that year.

Sydney Place: Named for Sidney Herbert (1809–1861), 1st Baron Herbert of Lea, the half-Russian friend of Florence Nightingale who served as Secretary of War during the Crimean debacle. Sydney Parade, Herbert Place and Herbert Street are also named for him.

Thomas Street: Named for Thomas, 4th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion, a Catholic outlawed in the 1690s for supporting King James II. His son Richard, 5th Viscount, conformed in 1710.

Thorncastle Street: Named for a castle on Merrion Road whose rampart was protected by thorn bushes. The castle came into the possession of the Fitzwilliams who held a vast estate running from Dundrum to Ringsend to O’Connell Bridge. In 1816, this estate passed to the Earls of Pembroke.

Vavasour Square: Named for Councillor William Vavasour (1744-1819), a wealthy merchant who initiated the reclamation of the marshy foreshore of the Dodder Delta in 1785 by double-banking the shore beside Beggar’s Bush.

Veronica Terrace: Named for the kindly lady who wiped the face of Jesus while He was carrying his cross.

Whelan House: The housing complex on Thorncastle Street was completed in 1939 and named in memory of Patrick Whelan (1893–1916), a local man and active Gaelic Leaguer who was shot dead on the third floor of Boland’s Mill during the Easter Rising. His brother Martin Whelan was killed at the Battle of Jutland, just five weeks later. (Thanks to Helen Larkin).

York Road: Named for Duke of York, but I am not sure which one.



The Liberties


Ardee Street: The title of the son of the Earl of Meath, head of the Brabazon family.

Bond Street: Named for Sir James Bond, Member of Parliament for Naas (1791–1797) who oversaw the construction of the canal basin (now filled in) adjoining St James’s Harbour, the terminus of the Grand Canal.

Brabazon Street: The family name of the Earls of Meath who descended from Flemish wool traders, acquired the lands here in the Tudor age.

James Street: Named for St James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and a brother of John, who wrote the Gospel of John. St James was the first apostle to be martyred when the King of Judea had him beheaded.

High Street: James Ussher, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, was reputedly born at 57 High Street, later Burke’s grocery establishment.

Market Street: Named for a market started here by Sir James Bond on land he leased from the Grand Canal Company in 1786, after which he extended the Grand Canal harbour at St James’s.

Meath Street & the Meath Hospital: Names for the Earl of Meath, head of the Brabazon family.

Rainsford Street: Named for Sir Mark Rainsford, a former Lord Mayor who was also a brewer of beer and fine ales, and original owner of the site of the Guinness Brewery.

Roe Lane: Named for George Roe, who started the Thomas Street Distillery in 1757.

St James Gate: Named for a city gate that was here in the Liberties.





Anglesea Road and Anglesea Bridge: I’m willing to stand corrected but I believe these are both named for the Marquess of Anglesea who was twice Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1828 and 1833. As Lord Uxbridge, he famously lost a leg at the battle of Waterloo. See the Paget family here.

Ballsbridge: Named for the Ball family, including the historian FL Ball and Frances Ball who, as Mother Mary Teresa founded the Sisters of Loretto. (See here).

Pembroke Road: Named for the 11th Earl of Pembroke, who succeeded to ‘the principal portion of the property of the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam’ upon the latter’s death in 1816. No. 19 Pembroke Road was the birthplace in 1858 of the geologist and earthquake expert Richard Dixon Oldham (1858-1936), who Bill Bryson names as the discoverer of inner core. He was the son of Dr. Thomas Oldham (1816-78), in succession professor of geology at Trinity College, Dublin, and director of the Geological Surveys of Ireland and India. [‘BIRTHS On the 30th ult.. at 19 Pembroke-road, Dublin,  Thomas Oldham, Esq., LL.D., of a son.’ (Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, 3 August 1858.’)



With thanks to Ken Rogan, Lorcan Collins, Helen Larkin, Roisin Connolly, Joe Mooney, Marcel Lindsay, Colm Moore, Nicola Cooke and others.