Swords-It's Houses And Inhabitants
History Of Swords Co. Dublin 1900 - It's People
THE VILLAGE OF SWORDS IN 1900
Its Houses and Inhabitants
Approaching from Pennock Hill, on the road from Dublin,
you saw the village, with the round and square tower, appearing from the trees and the sea, and Malahide in the distance on
the right. The hill is now less severe since the road was graded and widened. At the top of the hill on the left, there was
a farm, occupied by Lenihans, and a white house (still there in 1969), and a one storey pretty cottage and garden came next,
Harfords. At the foot of the hill was a row of low thatched raud cabins, called Thomp son' s Row, occupied by vagrant labourers
who settled in the district. They lived by begging when the husbands were unemployed. For about a couple of hundred yards,
there were isolated thatched cottages -
Salmons, and Dempseys on the left side; Connors, and Rourkes on the right. The first road junction, Forest Road, to the
left, marked the beginning of the village street. This crossroads was called the Turnpike - tradition said there was a turnpike
at this point in the days of the Stagecoach, where tolls were collected. O'Toole's Public House (still there) was on the left
corner. There was a handball alley behind this pub. The road to the left, Forest Road, contained about 30 or )0 thatched cabins,
a few of them slated, but mostly thatched. Savages, Connors, Nuitys, McKittrick, were some of the names.
On the right, opposite the pub, the east side of the Main Street, there was a row of one storey slated cottages; one
of these was the band room for the local Fife and Dram Band. O'Keeffe was staff master of the band and lived beside the band
room. Behind these cottages was a paddock where circuses; travelling shows, fancy fairs, mummers, etc. came. The circus cam
for one day only; other shows for several weeks. "O'Toole's Gardens", the paddock was called. Next on the right there were
substantial thatched houses, NcGeanes and Tyrells.
A row of one storey slated cottages. Gowhans (the sexton of the Protestant Church), Doyles, Carrolls, and then Donnellys,
Blacksmith's forge. Next came the Old Borough Protestant School.
On the right, next 4cGeanes there was Donnellys,
Clarkes, Pinkertons, Bannisters, Larkins, ,Dalys, and a large farmer' s house (now the Garda Barracks), then farmer Healy's.
This brings us to the turn right to Malahide. On this road there were Carsons, Savages (the village sweep), Salmons, C'Rourkes,
and a big house in its own grounds (a Protestant gentleman farmer), and after them a farm house and garden and farrTard, Nicholas
Next the Borough School was Walshs - Pump makers, well sinkers and plumbers - the only engineering business in the village.
They also had cottages and storage yard on the opposite side of the road, at the entrance to Malahide Road. They had a workshop
at the back of the house next the school. A lathe for turning wood and metal and plenty of tools were there. There were three
brothers in the business and they had the contract for the sinking of wells and erection of water pumps all over the district.
They did plumbing and central heating for all the big mansions who had 'water supply and repaired lead on roofs, etc. The
pumps were once carved out of wooden logs but later cast iron pumps were erected. In farmyards and villages, the name Walsh
appeared on all the pumps.
During the Gordon Bennett Motor Race in 190)4, one of the French drivers got repairs done to his car successfully by
a son of one of this family, who carried on the business after his father.
Beside Walsh's left, was Johnny Hanlon, Harness
Maker. ifrs. Dalton, mi&,-ife, and Colemans (my grandfather's house). All these were thatched houses, some of them had
attic rooms. Next came McEvoys (land and house property), a corrugated iron roofed house called the tier house. Hughes lived
here, and later Davis. Thpn n two storey house, Gannons at the corner of the Hollow Lane.
Then a two storied slated house, Christy Swan the local baker, van man. Brides a shoe maker, Savage a sweet shop, McGonigale
building contractors and furniture maker who also had a sweet shop. Then a one story cottage , McGrodden Register of births,
deaths. And the dispensary, a good two story red bricked house. Mrs Hughes The Midwife, Dr.Fullam also worked there.
Next the curate's house was back from the road with a garden in front.
Next came three low slated cottages, Gannon, O'Tooles, Salmons. This brings us to Gannon's lane, back entrence to houses
and the Ward River for watering horses and carrying water for washing