FOUR ROADS TO DUBLIN

The History of Ranelagh, Rathmines and Leeson Street

By
Deirdre Kelly
Four Roads to Dublin

Four Roads to Dublin spans seven hundred years in the history of Rathmines, Ranelagh and Leeson Street from the time of the medieval city to its present role as a dynamic, living, distinctive inner suburb of Dublin.

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€19.99
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Hardback:
256 pages
Size:
234x156 mm
ISBN:
9780862784232

Four Roads to Dublin spans seven hundred years in the history of Rathmines, Ranelagh and Leeson Street from the time of the medieval city to its present role as a dynamic, living, distinctive inner suburb of Dublin.

In ancient times, four roads led into Dublin from the south-west. What is now Rathmines and Ranelagh was a dangerous no-man's land between the walled city and the Wicklow mountains. Many a bloody battle was fought there between the native Irish, banished to the mountains, and the foreigners who has usurped their lands. The famous 'Battle of Rathmines' between Cromwellian forces and Royalists was fought where now stand some of the finest late Georgian and Victorian streets.

Fear of the mountain enemy inhibited suburban settlement until the mid-eighteenth century when the tiny villages of Rathmines, Cullenswood and Ranelagh began to develop. In 1947 Rathmines Township was formed and for the next century intense development created one of the most attractive and exciting areas, socially and architecturally, in Dublin. Famous writers and artists, including Joyce, AE Russell, Sarah Purser, Jack Yeats, Catherine Tynan, Frank O'Connor and Walter Osborne lived there, along with eminent scientists, musicians and scholars.

The area boasted many fine houses and castles as well as the Ranelagh Gardens from where Richard Crosbie made his famous balloon ascent.

Though originally a strongly unionist area, it was also home to many Fenians and Young Irelanders. Four of the signatories of the 1916 Ploclamation, among them Padraic Pearse, marched out from Ranelagh on that historic Easter Monday, never to return.

This book draws together the many facets of the area between the four roads - its streets, its style, the people who lived there, the part it played in Irish history. Years of research, coupled with a lifelong enthusiasm for her native area, make Deirdre Kelly's account a lively, comprehensive and unique story of city life and history.

Illustrated with maps, historical and contemporary photographs.

Deirdre Kelly was a radical environmental activist and a founder member of the Living City Group. She was involved with many campaigns to save Dublin’s architectural heritage.

'Four Roads to Dublin will open your eyes to a whole new world you never knew existed ... The research is meticulous and the story is told with the warmth and affection of a woman who has lived there. It's for Dublin people who love Dublin.'

Sunday World

'A mine of information, an extraordinary collection of local history, biographical detail and fascinating photographs."

Ireland of the Welcomes

'Few could surpass the enlightened and informed passion of Deirdre Kelly, writer and environmental campaigner ... It's a very interesting book indeed, even for anyone who doesn't have a particular connection with the area ... All kinds of historical titbits are mentioned, a deluge of information which holds your interest to the last page ... Deirdre Kelly, in her loving scholarship, produced a real classic that deserves to live on.'

Books Ireland
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