HAROLD'S CROSS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

HAROLD'S CROSS, a village, partly in the parish of ST. CATHERINE, in the barony of DONORE, and partly in the united parishes of ST. PETER and ST. KEVIN, barony of UPPERCROSS, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 1 ¼ mile (S.) from Dublin Castle, on the road to Rathfarnham; containing 1101 inhabitants. This place was in ancient times the scene of repeated conflicts with the Danes; and in a house near it, on the road from Clanbrassil bridge, Robert Emmet, who had lodged there for some time under a fictitious name, after the insurrection of 1803, was apprehended by Major Sirr. The village contains 157 houses, chiefly built round a spacious green and along the roads leading on the west to Kimmage, and on the south to Rathfarnham. In the neighbourhood are some handsome villas, of which the chief are Mount Argus, that of J. Byrne, Esq.; and Greenmount, of J. Webb, Esq. On a branch of a river which rises above Castle Hill are some extensive mills; and in the neighbourhood is a very extensive cotton factory, called the Green Mount Mills, belonging to Messrs. Pim, and employing 150 persons. The machinery of these mills is driven by a steam-engine of 25 and a water-wheel of 20-horse power, giving motion to 100 power-looms and 6000 spindles; there are also a paper-mill and a flour-mill.

In the village is a small monastery of discalced Carmelites, consisting of a prior and nine brethren, who support themselves by the exercise of several trades, and the profits of a school kept in the house. A convent of sisters of the order of St. Clare was removed hither from Dorset-street, Dublin, in 1804; the establishment consists of an abbess, 17 professed nuns, and 3 lay sisters; and attached to the convent is a very neat chapel, which is open to the public. Connected with this institution is a female orphan asylum, founded in 1803, and removed from Hendrick-street, Dublin, in 1806, when an appropriate building adjoining the convent was erected for its use. In this asylum 90 children are maintained, clothed, and instructed under the immediate care and superintendence of the sisters of St. Clare; it is supported by subscriptions, donations, and the produce of the industry of the children, who excel in the finer sorts of needlework. Near the entrance of Mount Jerome is a national school, established in 1834, which was previously a R. C. chapel.

Mount Jerome, a beautifully picturesque demesne, adjoining the village, has lately been purchased by the Dublin Cemetery Company, formed under the provisions of an act of the 4th and 5th of William IV., "for establishing a general cemetery in the neighbourhood of the city of Dublin." This cemetery comprises 25 acres of gently elevated ground, embellished with lawns and shrubberies, and wholly surrounded with lofty trees of venerable growth, giving it an air of seclusion and a solemnity of aspect peculiarly appropriate. Under the direction of the Company, who have a capital of £12,000 subscribed in £10 shares, provision will be made for the interment of persons of all religious denominations by recognised ministers of their respective congregations; and in order to facilitate the approaches from the south and south-east of the city, arrangements have been made with the Grand Canal Company for the improvement of the canal road from Portobello, and for exemption from toll of all carriages passing to or from the cemetery. The plan also embraces the erection of monuments and cenotaphs, and the construction of tombs and graves either by the company at a stipulated charge, or by individuals at their own expense; the whole is enclosed by a wall, and near the entrance a church is now being erected for the accommodation of the neighbourhood as a chapel of ease. Building stone of good quality is found in abundance in the vicinity, and the Grand Canal passes almost close to the village.

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