Video of Rathfarnham - Churchtown District, Dublin City , Republic of Ireland
Rathfarnham (Irish: Ráth Fearnáin, meaning "Fearnán's ringfort") is a Southside suburb
of Dublin, Ireland. It is south of Terenure, east of Templeogue, and is in the postal
districts of Dublin 14 and 16. It is within the administrative areas of both Dún
Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin County Councils.
Churchtown (Irish: Baile an Teampaill) is a largely residential suburb on the southside
of Dublin, Ireland, between Dundrum and Rathfarnham. It is in the postal districts
Dublin 14 and Dublin 16.
The written history of Rathfarnham begins after the Norman invasion of Ireland. Terenurr
and Kimmage (Cheming), both described as being in Rathfranham parish Dublin, are
mentioned in an 1175 grant by Henry II to Walter the goldsmith ('Aurifaber') held
at Canterbury Cathedral Archives.
In 1199 these lands were granted to Milo le Bret. In 1199 he adapted an existing
ridge to build a motte and bailey fort at what is now the start of the Braemor Road.
It was apparently still in evidence up to the early 20th century.
In the following century no events of great importance are recorded as Rathfarnham,
perhaps as it was protected on its south side by the Royal Forest of Glencree. Rathfarnham
became more exposed to attack when this deer park was overrun by the Clan O'Toole
from the Wicklow Mountains in the 14th century. Rathfarnham Castle was erected in
part to protect the area from such attacks.
Rathfarnham Castle itself was re-modelled from a defensive stronghold into a stately
home. Lower Dodder Road is still marked by a triumphal arch, from this era, which
originally led to the castle.
Churchtowns Braemor Road is still marked by a triumphal arch from the 18th century,
which originally led to Rathfarnham Castle. The erection of this gateway is attributed
to Henry Loftus, Earl of Ely from 1769 to 1783 who was also responsible for the classical
work on the castle itself. The arch is named the new gate on Frizell’s map of 1779.
After the division of the estate in 1913 the arch became the entrance to the Castle
Golf Club but was later abandoned in favour of the more direct Woodside Drive entrance.
The arch is located at the bottom of the 'big hill' which gave the name to the road,
"Brae Mor". 'Bré' means 'hill' in Irish while 'mor' is the Irish for 'big' the name
is used in an anglicised spelling as 'Braemor'. An alternative explanation of the
name is more likely to be true: Braemor Road was developed in the late 40s and early
50s by builders called Brady and Morgan. They conflated the names, and adopted a
spelling which mimics Braemar in Scotland.