KINGSTOWN, formerly DUNLEARY, a sea-port and market-town, in the parish of MONKSTOWN, half-barony of RATHDOWN, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Dublin; containing 5736 inhabitants. This town, which is situated on the southern shore of the bay of Dublin, derived its former name Dunleary, signifying "the fort of Leary," from Laeghaire or Leary, son of "Nial of the nine hostages," monarch of Ireland, who reigned from the year 429 to 458, and had his residence at this place. Its present appellation, Kingstown, was given to it by permission of his late Majesty George IV., on his embarkation at this port for England after his visit to Ireland, in 1821; in commemoration of which a handsome obelisk of granite, with an appropriate inscription and surmounted by a crown of the same material, was erected.

Previously to the construction of the present magnificent harbour, Dunleary was merely a small village inhabited only by a few fishermen; but since the completion of that important undertaking it has become an extensive and nourishing place of fashionable resort, and the immediate neighbourhood is thickly studded with elegant villas and handsome residences of the wealthy citizens of Dublin. The bay of Dublin had, from time immemorial, been regarded as extremely dangerous for shipping, from a bar of moveable sand which obstructed the entrance into the harbour, and rendered the western passage to the port impracticable during certain periods of the tide; and from the vast rocks that project along the eastern shore to the small town of Dunleary. The frequent wrecks that occurred, and the great loss of life and property, had powerfully shown the want of an asylum harbour for the protection of vessels during adverse winds; and application from the Dublin merchants had been made to Captain Toucher, a gentleman of great nautical skill and experience, who resided among them, to select a proper station for that purpose.

The loss of His Majesty's packet, the Prince of Wales, and of the Rochdale transport between Dublin and Dunleary, on the 17th Nov., 1807, when 380 persons perished, prompted fresh efforts to obtain this desirable object, and the merchants of Dublin and the Rathdown association again applied to Captain Toucher, who selected the port of Dunleary as the fittest for the purpose, from its commanding a sufficient depth of water, soundness of bottom, and other requisites for the anchorage of large vessels; but nothing further was done at that time. A petition, signed by all the magistrates and gentry on the southern shore of the bay, was, in 1809, presented to the Duke of Richmond, then Lord-Lieutenant; and a small pier, 500 feet in length, was constructed to the east of the Chicken rocks, which, though accessible only at particular periods of the tide, contributed much to the preservation of life and property.

The great want of accommodation for the port of Dublin and the channel trade, induced the citizens to make further efforts to obtain the sanction of the legislature for the construction of an asylum harbour more adequate to the safety of vessels frequenting the Irish channel, and bound to other ports; and in 1815 an act was passed for "the erection of an asylum harbour and place of refuge at Dunleary." Commissioners were appointed to carry the provisions of this act into effect, in which they were greatly assisted by the exertions and experience of Captain Toucher; surveys were made and the works were commenced in 1816, under the direction and after the design of the late Mr. Rennie: the first stone of the eastern pier was laid by Earl Whitworth, Lord-Lieutenant, and the work was successfully prosecuted under the superintendence of Mr. Rennie, till his decease in 1817: the pier is 3500 feet in length.

Though at first it was thought to be of itself sufficient to afford the requisite security, it was found necessary, for the protection of vessels from the north-west winds, to construct a western pier, which was commenced in 1820, and has been extended to a length of 4950 feet from the shore. The piers, by an angular deviation from a right line, incline towards each other, leaving at the mouth of the harbour a distance of 850 feet, and enclose an area of 251 statute acres, affording anchorage in a depth of water varying from 27 to 15 feet at low spring tides. The foundation is laid at a depth of 20 feet at low water, and for 14 feet from the bottom the piers are formed of fine Runcorn sandstone, in blocks of 50 cubic feet perfectly square; and from 6 feet below water mark to the coping, of granite of excellent quality found in the neighbourhood. They are 310 feet broad at the base, and 53 feet on the summit; towards the harbour they are faced with a perpendicular wall of heavy rubble-stone, and towards the sea with huge blocks of granite sloping towards the top in an angle of 10 or 12 degrees.

A quay, 40 feet wide, is continued along the piers, protected on the sea side by a strong parapet nine feet high. The extreme points of the piers, which had been left unfinished for the decision of the Lords of the Admiralty with respect to the breadth of the entrance, are to be faced in their present position. A spacious wharf, 500 feet in length, has been erected along the breast of the harbour, opposite the entrance, where merchant vessels of any burthen may deliver or receive their cargoes at all times of the tide. At the extremity of the eastern pier is a revolving light, which becomes eclipsed every two minutes. The old pier, which is now enclosed within the present harbour, affords good shelter for small vessels.

More than half a million sterling has been already expended upon the construction of this noble harbour, and it is calculated that, to render it complete, about £200,000 more will be requisite. The materials for the piers, wharf, and quays, are granite of remarkably compact texture, brought from the quarries of Dalkey hill, about two miles distant, by means of railroads laid down for the purpose; the number of men daily employed was about 600 on the average. The Royal Harbour of Kingstown is now exclusively the station for the Holyhead and Liverpool mail packets; and from the great accommodation it affords to steam-vessels of every class, and the protection and security to all vessels navigating the Irish channel, it has fully realized all the benefits contemplated in its construction.

The number of vessels that entered, during the year 1835, was 2000, of the aggregate burden of 244,282 tons, exclusively of 57 men of war and cruisers, and of the regular post-office steam-packets from Holyhead and Liverpool, of which there are six employed daily in conveying the mails and passengers. About 20 yawls belong to the port, of which the chief trade is the exportation of cattle, corn, granite, and lead ore, and the importation of coal, timber, and iron. The intercourse with the metropolis is greatly facilitated by the Dublin and Kingstown railway, which has been lately extended, by the Board of Works from the old harbour of Dunleary to the new wharf, which is very large and commodious. It was opened to the public on the 17th of Dec., 1834, and the number of passengers has since been on the average about 4000 daily; the number from Dublin and its environs to Kingstown, during the races, was, on the first day 8900, and on the second, 9700.

The line, which is 5 ½ miles in length, was completed to the old harbour at an expense of more than £200,000, of which £74,000 was advanced on loan by the Board of Public Works, and during its progress employed from 1500 to 1800 men daily. It commences at Westlandrow, Dublin, where the company have erected a handsome and spacious building for passengers, and is carried over several streets, and across the dock of the Grand Canal by handsome and substantial arches of granite.

At Merrion, about 2 miles from the city, it passes through the sea on an elevated embankment to Blackrock. Thence it passes through extensive excavations, and intersecting the demesnes of Lord Cloncurry and Sir Harcourt Lees, passes under a tunnel about 70 feet in length, and extends along the sea shore to the Martello tower at Seapoint, continuing along the base of the Monkstown cliffs to Salthill, and thence to the old harbour of Dunleary, where commences the extensive line to the new packet wharf. Six locomotive engines of the most approved construction are employed on the road, and there are three classes of carriages for passengers, the fares of which are respectively sixpence, eight-pence, and a shilling. These carriages start every half hour, from both stations, from 6 in the morning till 10 o'clock at night, performing the journey in less than 15 minutes; the whole line is well lighted with gas.

The town consists of one spacious street, about half a mile in length, and of several smaller streets and avenues branching from it in various directions; there are also several ranges of handsome buildings, inhabited chiefly by the opulent citizens of Dublin, of which the principal are Gresham's Terrace, consisting of eight elegant houses, with a spacious hotel erected by Mr. Gresham, at an expense of £35,000, together forming one side of Victoria-square, so named at the request of the Princess Victoria; the ground in front of the terrace is tastefully laid out, and from the flat roofs of the houses, which are secured from the risk of accidents by iron railings, is a fine view of the bay, the hill of Howth, the Killiney hills, and the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. Haddington Terrace, consisting of eight houses in the Elizabethan style, was built in 1835; and there are many detached and handsome residences.

The town, towards the improvement of which Mr. Gresham has contributed greatly at his own expense, is partly paved, and is lighted with gas by the Dublin Gas Company. From the purity of the air, the beauty of its situation, and convenience for sea-bathing, this place has become a favourite summer residence, and is greatly resorted to by visiters, for whose accommodation, besides the Gresham hotel, there is the Anglesey Arms on the quay; there are also several private lodging-houses on the western side of the harbour. The Dublin Railway Company have erected some elegant and spacious baths, and there are others also on the eastern side of the harbour, all commanding interesting and extensive views of the sea and of the surrounding scenery. Races are held annually, for which Mr. Gresham has purchased land near the town well adapted for a course, and on which he is about to erect a grand stand; and regattas annually take place in the harbour.

In the town and neighbourhood are numerous handsome seats and pleasing villas, most of them commanding fine views of the bay of Dublin and of the richly diversified scenery on its shores. Of these, the principal are Fairyland, that of C. Halliday, Esq.; Granite Hall, of R. Garratt, Esq.; Stone View, of S. Smith, Esq.; Lodge Park, of the Rev. B. Sheridan; High Thorn, of J. Meara, Esq.; Glengarry, of R. Fletcher, Esq.; Prospect, of Assistant Commissioner General Chalmers; Glengarry House, of J. Dillon, Esq.; Northumberland Lodge, of Sir William Lynar; Airhill House, of F. T. McCarthy, Esq.; Wellington Lodge, of M. McCaull, Esq.; Mount Irwin, of J. Smith, Esq.; Plunkett Lodge, of the Hon. Mrs. Plunkett; Carrig Castle, of C. N. Duff, Esq.; Marine Villa, of J. Duggan, Esq.; Eden Villa, of J. Sheridan, Esq.; Ashgrove Lodge, of B. McCulloch, Esq., Raven Lodge, of Lieutenant Burniston; Leslie Cottage, of J. Twigg, Esq.; Echo Lodge, of Mrs. Leathley; and Valetta, of Captain Drewe.

The neighbourhood is remarkable for its quarries of fine granite, from which was raised the principal material for the bridge over the Menai straits, and for the harbours of Howth and Kingstown. A savings' bank has been opened, and a marketplace and court-house are in progress of erection. Kingstown is the head of a coast-guard district, comprising the stations of Dalkey, Bray, Graystones, Five-mile Point, and Wicklow Head, and including a force of 5 officers and 38 men, under an inspecting commander resident here; there is also a constabulary police force under a resident sub-inspector. Petty sessions are held every Monday; a court at which the Commissioners of Public Works preside, or a deputed magistrate, is held on Tuesday, to try harbour offences; and the seneschal of the Glasnevin and Grangegorman manorial court, sits on alternate Fridays, for the recovery of debts to any amount within this district.

An Episcopal chapel was built by subscription in 1836, in pursuance of a donation of £1000 late currency for its endowment; it is called the "Protestant Episcopal Mariners' Church at Kingstown Harbour." In the R. C. divisions the town is the head of a union or district, comprising the parishes of Dalkey, Killiney, Old Connaught, Rathmichael, Tully, and the greater part of Monkstown and Kill. The chapel is a handsome edifice, completed in 1835, at an expense of £4000; over the altar is a painting of the Crucifixion, presented by Mr. Gresham. There are chapels also at Cabinteely and Crinken. In the town are places of worship for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, and Wesleyan Methodists; the former erected at an expense of £2000, and the latter of £1000, there is also a large lecture-room.

A convent of the order of St. Clare, to which is attached a small chapel, was established here about 10 years since; but the community, having been much reduced in number, has been distributed among other religious houses, and the convent has been purchased by the nuns of Loretto House, Rathfarnham, who conduct a respectable boarding school. A convent of the order of Mercy was established in 1835, consisting of a superior and seven sisters from Baggot-street, Dublin, who have built a commodious school-room, in which 300 girls are gratuitously instructed; they also visit the sick in the neighbourhood, whom they supply with necessaries and religious instruction. About 120 children are taught in an infants' school and a school under the New Board of Education. A dispensary and fever hospital were established in 1825.

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