Kenure House and Demesne

For centuries Kenure House and its woodland dominated the skyline and the life of nearby Rush. Not that the inhabitants of Rush were ever fully dominated by any great landowners, whoever they might be. Having made their living for centuries from the sea, and from the fertile land of the region, their relationship with their great landowners was a respectfully independent one. As far back as the early 16th Century, the fishermen of Rush exhorted the owners of Kenure to secure a safe harbour for their boats, saying that otherwise they would have to seek employment elsewhere and "no longer dwell in this habitation".

In 1964 the contents of Kenure House were auctioned, and the estate, which was also known as Kenure Park, was sold to the Irish Land Commission. Colonel R. H. Fenwick-Palmer, the last of the Palmers to live in the house, had decided to abandon the losing battle against rising costs, dry rot and rising damp. Within a short while the house was handed over to Dublin County Council, who, unable to find a buyer for it, in its increasingly dilapidated and vandalised condition, were finally obliged to demolish it for safety reasons in 1978.

The tragedy of the demise of Kenure House is that the house, walled gardens and woodland, were equal, if not superior, in architecture, natural beauty and history, to other estates in the Fingal area, estates like Ardgillan or Newbridge House, which have since been acquired as public amenities. The sale of Kenure House by the Palmer family came that few years too early for such enlightened planning.

The development of St.Catherine's housing estate on the site of the house and much of the park has brought new blood to the town of Rush. The strange sight of an enormous portico puzzles many people, standing as it does, alone against the sky. (At the time of its demolition, a number of Rush people did protest, and managed to prevent at least the portico from being destroyed.) People ask themselves what was the house itself like, who were the privileged ones who trod its halls, or drove their carriages along its avenues? What in fact is the history of Kenure?

Next - 1100 - 1400next

Upload to this page

Upload to this page

Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.

Map Search

Related Libraries

Fingal County Library
Contact this library »


History & Heritage

Popular Sections