recedite Registered User

Greystoned said:
Here’s a screen-shot of the 25-inch osi map (from around 1885, I think).

Are there any remains to be seen now of the Rathdown Castle? Presumably they would be near to where the Gap Bridge was (that's now a ramp down to the beach).

Greystoned Registered User

I don't think there's much left of Rathdown Castle. I believe some of it was used to build the ... Gap Bridge! I remember as a kid ... there was some structure/ruins to the north-west corner of Darcy's field (the soccer fields). (This would be on your right, immeadiately after you cross the track at Ennis' Lane as you walk towards the sea.) BUT that might have been to do with a more recent construction. I think some of the site might have been built on for water treatment works - since replaced by newer installation near Charlesland Golf Course.

Not sure if St. Crispin's Cell is linked to the castle or not.

There is an excellent book about all this. I saw a copy in the library a few years ago - you could have a look there. I'd like a copy of this. In fact in looks like Greystones really started out right there.

Title: Ancient Rathdown and St. Crispin's Cell: a uniquely historic landscape -- Author: Friends of Historic Rathdown - Editor: Chris Smal -- Publisher: Friends of Historic Rathdown, 1993 -- ISBN: 0952152606, 9780952152606 -- Length: 48 pages

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recedite Registered User

The Castle must have been in the area between the path down to the sea and the stream. The area is mostly overgrown with gorse now, so it would be difficult to see anything, if there was anything there.

dathi Registered User

hi greystoned the structure you are talking about was a lime kiln it was demolished in 1985 when the sewage works were being upgraded on the site . when the original sewage works were built in the 70s work was stopped briefly when a sword was discovered during excavation . the hoard of coins were found in the field north of the lane. the structures on the north beach were part of the sea defense for the railway. i can remember them running in one continuous wall from morris's lane north to the head and about 10 feet tall when the tide was out.

Greystoned Registered User

Hi Dathi (and everybody), interesting that you remember the sea defense for the railway and interesting that you mention Morris's Lane. Just to verify with you: Morris's Lane is separate from Ennis's Lane (also called the Grove Lane or just The Grove) - right? I get the impression from photos (in D Paine's books) that it is/was further north at the northern end of the long field which begins at the Gap.

I didn't know about the coins - I read of a similar find in Delgany - I think it was in Judith Flannery's history of Delgany.

Lime Kiln: this I do remember right at the GapBridge. Shame that it was destroyed. Some good info on Lime Kilns here: The kiln to the south of Greystones was preserved as a feature in Charlesland Golf Course. I wonder if there are others around?

I was not thinking of the Lime Kiln when I mentioned about some ruins/structure earlier (#17 post). I was referring to the north-west corner of Darcy’s field about, in other words south-west from the Lime Kiln. Somewhere between the Lime Kiln (or the sewage works that obliterated it) and the (current position of the) railway track. However, I’m not sure if that was the site of the castle. There is a steam there – but historians mention the castle having a fresh-water spring which would remove the necessity to be just beside the stream.

dathi Registered User

hi greystoned ye morris's lane was at the top of the long field north of the gap roughly in line with the start of the railway tunnel the cliff walk used to turn in in a large D shape and when we were kids we were able to get down to the beach there. you are kind of right with ennis's lane it ran from the original gap bridge up to the old cottages in the grove and turned right up past the new gated housing estate (northgate?) up past foxes farm and out onto windgates the middle section of that lane is very overgrown now . the road down past the cemetery to the grove was only put in in the 40s when the cottages were built. is the wall you are talking about just as you go through the railway gates heading for the beach? that wall lines up with the wall in the grove and looks like the railway cut through it. also i can remember a second wall running parallel to it in the field behind the farm yard it was very broken down and lots missing but it made it look like an enclosed field like a walled garden.

Greystoned Registered User

Hi Dathi, I attached a screen-shot of where (as a kid - it's many moons ago, so memory could be playing tricks on me) I thought there were some ruins or structure of some description. The red-cross marks the area I'm thinking of (# 17 post).

HOWEVER, I googled up some stuff on Rathdown Castle and it would appear that this is not the right spot. It was indeed where the sewage works were - just west of and right beside the Gap Bridge (answer to recidite's question).

See some good inputs here from Paddy Hogan and sagat.

Paddy mentions the spring along Ennis's Lane. Now that I read his post, I definitely remember the spring. I remember even getting to the Cliff Walk by crossing the "long field" (field which ends at Morris's Lane) in order to avoid getting my shoes drenched by that very spring. However, I just assumed it was a broken mains pipe or some modern explanation, and cursed WCC every time I took the dog that way! There was a secondary path on a sort of raised ditch to the left-hand side (heading to the sea) as well - worn by people trying to avoid getting their good Sunday shoes soaked, no doubt.

You solved Morris's Lane for me. Now that you say it, I do indeed remember the curious D shape the cliff walk took right about there. Also, was there a little gate or stile to the left (walking towards Bray) about halfway through the "D"? I don't think I ever accessed the beach from there - perhaps the erosion had done too much damage by "my time"?

Lance Vance Registered User

On the subject of the railway line; the original railway line was designed by the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It is known as Brunel's folly as it has been realigned a number of times due to the effects of erosion.

There was a derailment in 1867 resulting in two fatalities.,_1867.jpg

Greystoned Registered User

Thanks Lance, very nice website and some great photos of the line some showing traces of where it used to be. Another good one here: I wonder will the line ever be doubled!

All this "relocating" the line was probably fatal to Rathdown Castle's ruins - admittedly it was in ruins by the laying of even the first Bray-Greystones track - as the ruins were right by the Gap Bridge. As said earlier there were two of these - the second of which just disappeared recently. For both constructions the castle ruins were temptingly close for obtaining stones/bricks.

DubOnHoliday Registered User

Certainly wouldn't have liked to be a train driver on any of the original allignments!!!

Greystoned Registered User

Just for people following this thread - we talked about a row of houses on the North Beach Rd which were washed away by the sea over a few years around 1930. The last house (as you traveled north) on the road was called "Jubilee Castle" or "Rosetta Fort" - not sure why it had two names. It is absent from some of the earlier photos of Greystones, so was probably built in the mid-1800s. It was built on the site of ANOTHER Lime Kiln - which appears along the North Beach in very early photos. I'm not great at judging distances but it might have been about 150 or 200 yards north of the Lifeboat House - now Sweeney's Amusements.

Anyhow, don't confuse this with Rathdown Castle which dates from centuries ago and was already in ruins by the mid 1800s. It had come and gone before "The Gray Stones" was even on the map. It was further north at Ennis's Lane, where a more recent Lime Kiln and the Gap Bridges would be built.

On the subject of the railway, here's some info about the track from town to Greystones:

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