St. Patrick's Parish


Diocese of Dublin


The Rectory

Sometimes referred to as the Parsonage, or Vicarage, the Rectory was built in 1866, with the advantage of the newly arrived piped water from the Vartry, thanks to the Dublin County Authorities. The site, a disused quarry which provided the stone for building the Church, measures 0.876 acres and is called the Glebe land. (The site of the Church ground measures 1.057 acres). The house is beautifully situated to take advantage of the sun, it faces south-west and has a nice view, even in these days with all the surrounding houses, Telegraph Hill to be seen to the south.


The design of the Rectory is "Russian Villa" style, quite popular at that particular period. There are several examples of this design to be seen on the Rathgar Road, and Leinster Road in Dublin. Originally, the house had large "double-winged" granite steps leading to the entrance door on the upper floor, now a veranda incorporating the roof of a modern enclosed porch. The reception rooms had been on the upper storey with the better views, and the original bathroom was underneath the entrance steps. In the 1910’s the steps were removed and a front door inserted downstairs. Some of those granite slabs can still be seen in the garden. The two rather attractive marble fireplaces were relocated to the two ground-level rooms at the front of the house, to replace the upstairs drawing room and dining room. An extension was built on to the rear NW corner to accommodate a new bathroom on the upper storey. The room on the NE corner at ground level would have been a servant’s room and is now the Rector’s office.


When the house was built (at the same period as "Breffni" high on the slope to the south) there was no sewage system in that part of Dalkey, so the Rectory would have had a septic tank possibly in the SE area of the site. It was probably at the time of these major changes to the house that the Urban District Council laid sewage pipes in the area to run down through the quarry to an outlet at Bulloch.


In 1955 a new enclosed porch was built after removing what remained of a granite slab at the upper storey level. Much internal work was done, particularly to the kitchen. The huge old Maguire and Gatchell range was pulled out (Mr. Maguire was a Select Vestry member for years and lived in Tower Hill Lodge). A good job was done in constructing a 24" x 24" An air vent trench was built around the base of the building to eliminate damp, and the creeper was removed. Some later changes were made, notably the installation of oil fired central heating and the removal of the two marble fireplaces, later regretted by some.


In its time the lawn had been both a tennis and croquet court. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the ladies of the Parish had weekly Friday morning markets to raise money for the Rectory repairs and later the School building fund, and one side benefit was to provide rose bushes for the Rectory gardens. Four hundred rose bushes was the final count when Rev J.D.Murray left the Rectory for Milltown Parish! John Challendar, Alf Curtain, Hughie Ross and a boy worked hard in the garden in that period. His successor could not cope with such a burden and the bulk of the roses had to go. Fortunately, most of them flourished in parishioners’ gardens, so the story had a happy ending.

2014-09-10 13.06.27 2014-10-21 13.50.02