Around Blackrock

Blackrock was so called due to the large black rock that used to exist on the shore. During medieval times and the eighteenth century there was not much development and so the lands remained largely unaltered. Following the establishment of two estates in Blackrock, namely Mount Merrion and Stillorgan, Blackrock developed rather rapidly. It is quite an extensive area with a rich historical association.

Perhaps the most significant element in Blackrock's history is the market cross. The history of the cross dates back to 1678 when Walter Cheevers moved from Monkstown, selling his castle and lands to Blackrock. He brought the cross with him and his daughter inherited it. She married into the Byrne family and it remained with them for one hundred years. They set the cross on the edge of the family property, between 1765 and 1773, where it served as a boundary marking.

The cross dates from approximately the eighth or ninth century, and was probably used as a burial slab, as evidenced by the circle and band adorned on it. The cross is believed to belong to the Celtic foundation of St.Mochanna in Monkstown.

In 1865 there was a huge controversy over whether or not the cross should be removed completely. Instead the cross was moved and a new base was built for it. Having been at a few locations, the cross is now on Main Street. The present day cross is smaller with parts having been removed from it.

The Town Hall in Blackrock was built in 1865. This followed on from the establishment of the Blackrock Town Commissioners in 1853. The commission had been formed as a result of the 'Towns Improvement Act' and included Monkstown and Booterstown within the jurisdiction. The building cost more then was originally intended and £1,500 had to be borrowed to complete it. The total cost was £3,500 and an extension was added to the building in 1880.

The town hall was part of a façade of buildings, five in all, which included the library and schools. The facades of the buildings are highly ornate, although they are in need of repair. The Carnegie library, also visible in the print, dates from 1905 and was the centre- piece to the long façade of buildings. Andrew Carnegie provided a grant of £3,000, although again the project went over budget.


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