Brief History of Castleknock, Dublin

The small suburb of Castleknock, Dublin is located approximately one Castleknock Dublinmile just north of Phoenix Park and in between River Tolka and the Liffey River.

Even if the village doesn’t attract too many visitors each year, it is a scenic little village nonetheless and it has the church St. Brigid that was completed sometime back in the year 1810. It is built on a site of a former church and monastery that can be traced back during the Celtic times.

In Castleknock, Dublin there is also the fine hostelry in the village Myos where the blacksmith’s forge was once built and stood in the times past. From this historical area, not too far is the popular Castleknock College that was established and managed by the Vincentian Order. To some extent the mid-1960s rural aspect of Castleknock village has been lost but not entirely because new housing estates have begun to develop in the area.

The name Castleknock also signifies the barony of Castleknock which is made up from Cabra to Clonee on Meath border on one side and the Chapelizod to Finglas border on the other side. The old and previous name for the locality was called Cnucha, which was the name of the wife of Ruadraidhe or Genam who first arrived with the Firbolgs in the country around 3000 years ago. The Caislean Cnucha Irish name has been rendered with English equivalent as the Cnucha’s Castle.

The leader of the legendary Fianna is the father of Fionn MacCumhall and he fell in the battle of Cnucha. According to stories and legends revolving around this particular part of the history, he was buried in the great mound of Tower Hill within the Castleknock College. Later on, St. Patrick visited the area where the legendary leader of Fianna was buried. The local chieftain Morinus also known as Morriahtac obviously is less than animated by the preaching saint and has dozed off for a nap. This demonstrated that the local chieftain doesn’t have patience in dealing with the preaching of saints. St. Patrick had apparently cursed the local chieftain to his sleep until Judgment Day. And, the sleeping arrangements for the chieftain are to be under an adjacent mound topped by the Normal castle ruins.

The area surrounding Castleknock College has evidences of the occupation of Norsemen for some time and some evidences also showed the settling of some of the Celtic relations coming from Wales. It is in this place where the Irish High King named Rory O’Connor makes his last stand to fight against the invading Normans.

Nonetheless, the Norman castle of the Tyrrells remained though majority of this castle is in ruins. Most stones of the castle has been recycled and used by Luke Gardiner to build his house which today we now know of as Ordnance Survey Headquarters. The castle was the location of many great battles including that of the Edward Bruce’s attack back in the year 1316 as well as the battle between the forces of Owen Roe O’Neill and General Monks in the year 1641.

The barony of Castleknock includes the now local famous and scenic Phoenix Park where you can take some scenic walks.