There’s so much incredible history around Greystones, it can be pretty darn hard to keep up.
Especially when you’re sitting around a dinner table with the likes of Leo Ireton, Sean Magee, Derek Paine and Seamus Clear.
Well, to help you stay in the circle of fiends, the mighty Gary Acheson has put together some rather fascinating snippets of historical trivia. Study, memorize and then astound! And when you’ve finished consuming all these goodies, there’s a second batch righthere.
Did you know…
That there were 18 Greystones residents who signed the 1912 Ulster Declaration (Ulster Covenant) against Home Rule. All signers had to be Ulster-born – and that all 18 were women?
That the ruins of a telegraph house stand beside the railway south of Ballygannon where an undersea cable running from Wales once came ashore?
That a number of hoards of several hundred mainly Elizabethan coins – but including two Spanish coins from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella – were found at Rathdown near the site of the castle?
That the two semi-detached houses on Bellevue Road, called Tyross and Umgola, are named for two adjoining townlands just outside Armagh City?
That one of the world’s oldest musical instruments – wooden pipes dated to 6,000 years ago – was found at Charlesland during a pre-construction archaeological survey?
That I have no idea why the turnpike is called the turnpike – the name usually means having to pay a toll to use it?
That where Bellevue Park is now used to be known as The Pig Field?
That when the Norwegian motor ship Bolivar ran aground on the Kish Bank in 1947 and broke in half, two of her lifeboats were salvaged and used in Greystones Harbour for many years – the St Helen and the Bonaventure?
That Kinlen Road is named after Patrick J. Kinlen – a Dublin-born building contractor who built many of the homes in that part of the Burnaby?
That the disused reservoir in Templecarrig was part of the first water scheme in Greystones built in the 1890s to replace wells and springs?
That the rocks of Bray Head date from the Cambrian Period – about 500 million years ago – and formed on the bed of an ancient sea south of the equator?
That Eden Road in Greystones was formerly known as Railway Place?
Coast Guard HQ late 1800s
That the Coast Guard Station – now used by the Gardaí – was constructed as a defence building and has gun loops built into the walls to fire down on attackers?
That the area around where the harbour is now used to be called Sea Side in the early nineteenth century?
That before La Touche Place was built up, it was known as Jack The Post’s field because it belonged to John Evans the postman?
That the railway arches in Greystones had holes drilled in them during the Emergency to hold demolition charges – they were to be blown up in the event of an invasion by the British or Germans?
That two local place names – Coolagad and Windgates – may contain the Viking word for road – ‘gate‘?
That Pennick’s Nursery – on the back road from Delgany to Templecarrig – used to have the phone number ‘Greystones 1’?
That Greystones used to have its own independent electric company until it was absorbed by theE.S.B. in the 1920s?
That in 1835 a local fisherman captured a seal “with great difficulty” and sold it to Dublin Zoo where it was put on display?
That there was a rath [a circular, earthen wall surrounding a fort], near Church Lane in the grounds of Knockrath House, shown on the 1837 Ordnance Survey but gone by the 1890s?
That Trafalgar Road, connecting the harbour with the then-new railway bridge, opened in 1855 on the 50th anniversary of the battle of the same name?
That Carrig Eden was originally two separate semi-detached houses, called East and West House or East and West Ferney, until they were combined in 1920?
That Greystones’ first Telephone Exchange was in the house behind where Moran’s fishmongers was and was operated by Mrs. LaCombre?
That the first cinema in Greystones – owned by a Mr Hibbles, aided and abetted by his two sisters, who lived in Seaview – was in a shed on Sidmonton Road?
That motor cars were banned from Church Lane by an act of the House of Lords in 1907?
That Carr’s Bog (the Bog Field) was owned by John Carr who lived in Arch House?
That the name Charlesland is a corruption of ‘Churls’ Land’; in plain English ‘the land of the lowly peasants‘?
That one of the earliest published mentions of the ‘Grey Stones‘ was in a Dublin newspaper (Pue’s Occurrences 13 September 1757) and described the theft of cutlery and linens from an Englishman and his butler who had just landed there?
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