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Rathfarnham - Chronology

The lands of Rathfarnham were granted to Milo le Bret. This marks the beginning of the written history of Rathfarnham, Before this time a rath or fort existed at Rathfarnham.

Firhouse Weir was built in order to ensure a constant supply of water to the city of Dublin.

The first record of a bridge being built across the Dodder at Rathfarnham

Adam Loftus, Protestant Archbishop of Dublin is granted Rathfarnham

Rathfarnham Castle was constructed as a fortified house.

Rathfarnham Castle had to withstand an attack by the Wicklow clans.

Rathfarnham Castle was able to hold out against the Confederate army when the surrounding country was overrun.

A few days before the battle of Rathmines, the castle, which was garrisoned by the Parliamentary forces, was stormed and taken by the Royalists but they probably evacuated it again when Ormonde withdrew with his army to Kilkenny.

The bridge at Rathfarnham was described by Boate in his Natural History as a wooden bridge which "though it be high and strong nevertheless hath several times been quite broke and carried away through the violence of sudden floods ".

The earliest reference to a paper mill here was in this year when a petition for financial aid was presented by William Lake of Rathfarnham.

Whartons sold Rathfarnham Castle and its lands to the Right Hon.William Connolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons for £62,000.

The mansion which now forms the centrepiece of the Loreto Abbey group of buildings was built around this time by Mr.William Palliser.

The castle was sold to Dr.Hoadly,Archbishop of Armagh. The Bottle Tower or Hall 's Barn was built by Major Hall in imitation of the better constructed Wonderful Barn erected about the same period near Leixlip.

On the death of Archbishop Hoadly, the castle passed to his son-in-law Bellingham Boyle.

Paper was made at Rathfarnham by William and Thomas Slater.

The present structure of a single stone arch bridgewas erected.

Bellingham Boyle sold the property to Nicholas Loftus, second Earl of Ely, a descendant of Adam Loftus, the original builder of the castle.

Until 1783, Henry Loftus,Earl of Ely was responsible for the classical work at the castle itself and for the erection of the new gate on the banks of the Dodder.

William and Thomas Slater's works were destroyed by fire.

A new Protestant Church was erected to replace the medieval one which had become too small.

Rathfarnham House was purchased by George Grierson, the Kings Printer, who resided here for a few years.

Rathfarnham was the scene of a skirmish at the outbreak of the rising. The insurgents of the south county assembled at the Ponds on 24th May under the leadership of David Keely, James Byrne,Edward Keogh and Ledwich.

In the early 1800s the Loftus family sold the estate and removed their valuable possessions to Loftus Hall in Wexford.

Adjoining Glenbrook House the old dispensary for the sick poor which was founded.

Nutgrove School was established.

In order to avoid being arrested before the rising took place, Emmet rented Butterfield House in April under the name of Robert Ellis and lived here with Dowdall,Hamilton and others.

Rathfarnham House was purchased by Most Rev.Dr. Murray for the newly founded Loreto Order.

Rathfarnham Castle was bought by the Lord Chancellor, Francis Blackbourne.

Nutgrove School closed down and the house was occupied as a private residence.

The Catholic Church of the Annunciation was erected to replace the old chapel which stood in Willbrook Road.

The Constabulary barracks on the Main Street closed down when the establishment was transferred to a house named Leighton Lodge near Loreto Abbey.

St.Enda 's College was founded by Padraig Pearse and was at first housed in Cullenswood House, Ranelagh.

Pearse leased Hermitage from Mr.Woodburn and moved his college here so that his pupils could have scope for the outdoor life that he felt should play so large a part in the education of youth.

The Rathfarnham estate was sold and divided. The eastern part became a golf links. The castle and the south western portion were bought by the Jesuit Order and the north western part was devoted to housing. 

On Easter Sunday, Pearse left St. Enda's for the city on his bicycle for the last time.

1930s Fr O'Leary SJ installs a seismometer in a building in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle. A photograph exists of it in the Fr Brown Collection.

St Enda's finally closed down.

In 1953 Rathfarnham bridge was widened on the west side and renamed Pearse Bridge in honour of the Pearse brothers.

After the death of Miss Pearse St.Enda 's passed into the hands of the state and has since been opened as a public park.

In 1986 the Jesuits sold Rathfarnham Castle.

1999 Loreto Abbey is closed and both the school, which now only takes day students, and the Order's headquarters are transferred to the nearby Beaufort House.