Turtle Bunbury

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From 'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyageby Turtle Bunbury (MPG, 2008).


The South Lotts originally referred to 51 reclaimed plots of land directly behind City Quay sold to the highest bidder in 1723. In time, the term was applied to a considerably wider and less definable area. For the purpose of this section South Lotts concerns those lands bordered by Barrow Street, Ringsend Road, South Lotts Road and Grand Canal Street. Some jokingly refer to this as ‘No Man’s Land’. Others call it ‘Googleland’. But for many who live there, this is simply the South Lotts.

Barrow Street: The street was created using hard earth dug out from the nearby Grand Canal Docks and named for the river to which the Grand Canal was connected via the Barrow Navigation in 1790. The street’s best known buildings include the headquarters of Google’s European operations and The Factory where U2 put the polish on many of their albums. Grand Canal Station occupies the former site of the Dublin & Wicklow Railway Company yard.

Doris Street: This was probably part of the scheme built by Samuel Beckett’s uncle James Beckett in the first decade of the 20th century. It may have been named for a celebrated gilder who lived here.

Emerald Cottages: The Ordnance Survey map of 1876 records an engine and carriage factory approximately where these cottages stand today.

Gerald Street – Possibly named for Samuel Beckett’s uncle Dr Gerald Beckett (1884-1950), Wicklow County Medical Officer and sometime president of Greystones Golf Club. Gerald’s brother James built the cottages.

Gordon Street: Named for Charles George Gordon (1833 – 1885), aka General Gordon of Khartoum. In 1860, he personally supervised the burning of the Chinese Emperor’s summer palace in Peking for which he became known as ‘Chinese Gordon’. In 1900, Thom’s Directory noted that construction was underway for 28 small houses on the street. By 1902, another 28 were under construction. In 1904, Thom’s recorded the names of 40 residents (without any stated profession) who had moved into numbers 30 – 70, as well as Philip Cleary’s provision stores. For instance, John Fleming lived at 42, Mr Edward Davey at 45, Mr Abraham Davey at 46 and Mrs O’Shea at 61.

Hastings Street: Named for Francis Rawdon Hastings (1754-1826), 2nd Earl of Moira and, from 1817, Marquis of Hastings. This County Down man served with distinction against the American rebels in 1771 and went on to become commander of all the British forces in India. He sided with Wilbeforce against slavery and successfully annihilated several pirate nests on the coasts of Oman and Kuwait. In 1819, he purchased Singapore.

Hope Street – Named for the spirit of hope that accompanied these new constructions.

Howard Street: Probably named for Howard Beckett, son of William, brother of Gerald and James, and uncle of Samuel Beckett the playwright.

Joy Street – Named for the much esteemed emotion of great happiness.
Ormeau Street – Recalls the names of Belfast’s oldest municipal park and the name may be a nod to the Belfast residents who moved to the area.

Penrose Street: Possibly named by Ringsend glassworkers after George and William Penrose who founded the Penrose Glass House in Waterford in 1783. The company later became Waterford Crystal.

Ringsend Road – The No. 2 Dublin Bus garage was formerly the Ringsend Permanent Way Yard used to store all the tracks, poles and wiring required for maintenance of the tramway system. In 1929, the operation transferred to Donnybrook.

Somerset Street: Probably named for the 12th Duke of Somerset (1804 – 1886), a staunch opponent of Gladstone’s Irish policies. His wife was a granddaughter of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

South Dock Street: Named for the ‘South Docks’, otherwise known as the Grand Canal Docks.

South Lotts Road: Dates to at least 1721 when a road was built linking Britain Quay through South Dock Road to the Artichoke Road (now Shelbourne Road and Grand Canal Street). The redbrick terraced houses along the northern end were built by Samuel Beckett’s uncle James between about 1890 and 1910. The houses at the southern end date to 1930. This is also home to the Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium and the landmark Gasworks residential scheme.



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