We’re blessed in Holy Cross to be situated in an area steeped in history! On a beautiful sunny day in May Rang 6 and I were given our own personal tour of Dundrum by Mr. John Lennon, our local historian. John’s knowledge of Dundrum’s history is vast and he was also able to tell us lots about Holy Cross School too, as his own children attended here and he was previously a member of the Board of Management.
Our very first stop brought us to a hidden gem in Dundrum – Dundrum Castle. We hadn’t realised just how close to the school this building is! John told us that it dates back to Norman times and showed us old maps and pictures depicting how it looked a long time ago.
We then saw the buildings behind Campbell’s shop. These were originally stables and you can see evidence of this in the brickwork.
We heard about the history of Holy Cross School, the first of which was located behind where Deveney’s is today. So it wasn’t always located on the site that it presently stands! There were separate boy’s and girl’s schools back when they were first established and they were only amalgamated in 1987.
Next we walked along Main Street. I told the children that my wish for them after going on this tour was that they would walk through Dundrum in future seeing it through different eyes – that is, that they would see historical evidence and artefacts in lots of seemingly ordinary places! We stopped by Campbell’s Corner shop – the only shop in Dundrum with its original shopfront, and heard a bit about the Campbell family who still own the shop today.
We then walked along by the church and heard how people used to tie up their horses outside in the spot where you can leave your bikes today! Holy Cross Church has gone through plenty of changes over the years and we think that it looks wonderful today!
We continued on our walk on Main Street, hearing stories of some of the people who lived there (and some who are still living there today).
Next stop was the Carnegie Library which is just over a hundred years old. We heard about the background to the library and heard how it has been used in the past to accommodate people who had suffered flooding years ago. The library is situated beside the River Slang, one of our local rivers that we studied earlier in the year.
We the visited St. Nahí’s church and graveyard after that and heard about some of the people who are buried there. St. Nahí’s church has a lots of history associated with it and we examined some of the details such as a tapestry that was made by W.B.Yeats’ sister Lily and also beautiful stained glass windows made by Evie Hone.
We completed our tour by visiting the Luas Bridge, Dundrum Station (originally the train station), an old residence called Annefield, the old Dundrum Courthouse and finally we ended back in Holy Cross School again!
John does walking history tours for the public as part of the Spring/Summer of Heritage Programmes and I’d highly recommend going on one. Be prepared to learn a great deal about the details on your doorstep!