Journal Volume 7 2013

Greystones: a small fishing hamlet near Delgany

A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland Volume 1, Samuel Lewis, 1837


Delgany, a post-town and parish, in the half-barony of Rathdown, county of Wicklow, and province of Leinster, 91/2 miles (N.) from Wicklow, and 151/4 (S. S. E.) from Dublin; containing 2286 inhabitants, of which number, 188 are in the village.

  Delgany Main Street

Delgany, Main Street

Towards the close of the fifth century a religious cell was founded by St. Mogoroc, brother of St. Canoc, at this place, which was anciently called Dergne, or Delgne; and in 1022 a great battle was fought here between Ugain, King of Leinster, and Sitric, the Danish King of Dublin, in which the latter was defeated. The parish, which is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Wexford, and on the lower road from Bray to Wicklow, and is bounded on the east by the sea, comprises 3782 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4965-12s-2p per annum. The land is fertile, the system of agriculture much improved, and there is scarcely any waste land and but very little bog. The village is beautifully situated in a sequestered spot on the banks of the stream that waters the Glen of the Downs, and consists of about 30 houses and cottages, which are built in a very pleasing style. A small manufacture of straw plat and nets is carried on; and about three miles to the south of Bray Head, on a low rocky point, is the small fishing hamlet called the Greystones, where is a coast-guard station, which is one of those that form the district of Kingstown. This point, which is a headland of slate projecting into deep water, has been considered by Mr. Nimmo to afford a suitable site for the construction of a harbour, and his estimate for erecting a serviceable pier is £4000. This would enclose an area of two acres for an outer harbour, and of one for an inner harbour, with depth of ten feet at low water. The scenery is richly diversified, and the neighbourhood is embellished with numerous seats, of which Bellview is the chief. It is situated in the Glen of the Downs, which is a deep ravine formed by a disruption of the mountain, apparently by some convulsion of nature, with precipitous sides, richly clothed with wood. Near its northern entrance stands Mrs. Peter La Touche’s rustic cottage, on the margin of a fine lawn.

The eastern part of the glen is included in the beautiful demesne of Bellview, the seat of Mrs. Peter La Touche. The stately mansion, to which extensive offices are attached, was built at an expense of £30,000 by the late David La Touche, Esq., who, in 1753, purchased the lands of Ballydonagh, now called Bellview, and in 1754 erected the house, which has been subsequently enlarged by the addition of wings. Behind it is a conservatory 264 feet in length, furnished with many rare exotics; it cost £4000.


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