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Palmerstown - Chronology

1180: Aelred the Palmer founds the Augustinian Palmers’ Monastery in Thomas Street (John’s Lane) in thanks for having returned safely from an arduous pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A Palmer, from the latin palmarius or palmerius, was so called due to the practice of bringing back a palm leaf folded into a cross as a token of a Holy Land pilgrimage (in much the same way as scallops were souvenirs of pilgrimages to Santiago De Compostela)

1220: The ruin of Pre-Norman church is described as being in possession of the Hospital of St John the Baptist without Newgate.

1427: St Laurence chapel and its attached leper house are granted by Henry VI to John Waile.

1539: The Palmer’s Hospital (along with all other monastic bodies) is dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII. Sir John Alen, the Lord Chancellor, one of the commissioners overseeing the Dissolution, is rewarded with the lands of Palmerstown.

1541: An inquisition finds that the chapel of St Laurence and its fair, later called Palmerstown Fair belonged to the Hospital of Kilmainham, dissolved at that time.

1608: The former Leper Hospital andSt Laurence Chapel, together with its fair, glebes and tithes are granted to Sir Robert Newcomen.

1640s After the 1641 Rebellion the lands of Mathew Alen, descendant of the brother of Sir John Alen, in Palmerstown together with the interest of James Alen are seized by the Crown. Mathew Alen dies in 1645 and is buried in Palmerstown churchyard.

1669: The Hospital and Free School of King Charles II, (later the King’s Hospital School) is founded.

1675: Stacgory church established in Mill Lane, replacing an earlier church mentioned in 1220 which itself replaced an earlier pre-Norman type structure. The ruin of the church is there to this day.

1738: Laughlin Murphy, a married man with three children, is killed with a sword in a Palmerstown  tavern on the 9th of August – a fair-day in the village. The murder was significant, as the man accused of the murder was Henry Barry, fourth Lord Santry.  Barry’s trial, which took place the next year, was the first to take place in the shortlived Irish House of Commons in College Green. He was given a reprieve by King George II followed by a full pardon.

1763: The Rt. Hon. John Hely Hutchinson purchases Palmerstown from Robert Wilcocks

1787: Edward Clarke operates a large scale calico printworks in Palmerstown.

1799: Weston St. John Joyce mentions in his book “the Neighbourhood of Dublin” that around this time Palmerstown was heavily industrialised, having six calico printing mills, two oil mills, one dye mill, three wash mills and lead, iron and copper works. Flax mills are also recorded as being in operation at this time.

1853: McGarry & Sons, of Palmerstown Mills, demonstrate the manufacture of sheet lead in the Great Industrial Exhibition held in Merrion Square in the grounds of Leinster House. It was the largest international event to be held in Ireland up to that time.

1868: A short distance west of Palmerstown some workmen digging gravel find three fine burial urns containing human remains.  Two of the urns were enclosed in stone cists.

1872: The Stewart Institution for Lunatics established. This name, and the titles of the Stewart institutions established later, reflected the medical language in use at the time.

1879: the Stewart Institution for Lunatics’  functions were formally divided in two to establish the Stewart Institution for Imbecile Children, and the Asylum for Lunatic Patients of the Middle Classes. 

1881: Lord Iveagh builds a bridge to allow for the conveying of water from the Liffey, via a pumping station on its banks, to his imposing water tower in the grounds of his Farmleigh Estate.

1921: Population of Palmerstown is recorded as being 186.

1948: St Philomena’s church opened, replacing an old Penal Times chapel of ease.

1955-1965 Redcow Farm or ‘Old Palmerston’ housing estate developed.

1961: St Patrick’s (Palmerstown) GAA club founded.

1978: To cater for the population of Dublin’s south side, Palmerstown Cemetery is opened.

1971 The King’s Hospital School, founded in 1669 as the Hospital and Free School of King Charles II , moves from Blackhall Place (now housing the Law Society of Ireland) to Palmerstown. The move was prompted by enlargement of the school following a merger with two smaller schools, the Morgan and Mercer, between 1957 and 1966.

1982: Pobalscoil Isolde (Palmerstown community school) opens.

1990s Special Amenity Order granted for Waterstown Park and the Liffey Valley by Dublin City Council.

2009: To put an end to disagreement regarding the area’s name (Palmerston/Palmerstown), South Dublin County Council decides to hold a plebiscite and allow the residents of Palmerstown to decide. For a valid Plebiscite the procedure was that more than 50% of those entitled to vote had to vote, and the majority of those who did vote must vote in favour of resorting to the name Palmerstown.

In the end, fewer than the required 50% of voters exercise their vote and the name Palmerstown is officially adopted.