Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

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Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Micheál » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:59 pm

I'm starting this new Topic to discuss "Wheelers" Castle. That's what the ruined monument at the Carrickbrennan Roundabout is called locally.

It is often confused with Monkstown Castle - a much less visible building - but one which is more a grand lodge which still occupied and is situated off Monkstown Avenue immediately next door to Dunedin. It was once the residence of the Icelandic Embassy.

Since the two often get discussed together, a single Topic seems expedient. (And there are many postings under unrelated headings elsewhere on the site)

Now, I've always wondered why Wheelers Castle was so called. The only name I ever heard associated with it was "Cheevers" who it seems came into possession after it was confiscated from the Cistersian Monks. (I'm probably skipping a lot of history here). Anyway, an important clue to its "Wheeler" connection has emerged in those CBS Eblana School projects. In William Patricks Treacy's essay, he refers to it as "Dr de Courcy-Wheeler's" Castle.
http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428224/4387071

That surname has lead me to an excellent on-line resource on the history of the Finlater family. It seems they were related to the De Courcy-Wheelers and that one of them was an Anesthetists and GP attached to Adelaide Hospital AND, wait for it - Monkstown Hospital. Now heres more confusion. It is recorded here that they lived for a while in Monkstown Castle in the 20's (This can only be the real Monkstown Castle, not "Wheelers"). Though its just possible the ancient site at the roundabout might have been connected to, even owned by, who ever owned the more moded residence beside Dunedin.

Apart from the "Wheeler" connection, the Finlater Story contains some really excellent material of local interest and deals extensively with the 1916 Rising. The story of the Sherwood Forresters being entertained in the Yacht Club (on their way to encounter Dev at Mount Street Bridge) is fascinating. Here are links to two chapters (just substiute the numbers to get other chapters)

http://www.findlaters.com/chapter9.html
http://www.findlaters.com/chapter10.html

M.

Footnote 1: William Patrick Treacy gives his address as Packenham Road. I knew a Treacy family who lived there in the 60s/70s. There were connected with another home in the area on Monkstown Drive - the road/lane behind Monkstown Mansions

Footnote 2: The De Course-Wheelers also lived in Foxrock, in the same house that Nobel Laureat Samuel Beckett lived in.

Footnote 3: As I write this, I can still feel the scar on my head from a rock thrown on me from the top of Wheelers Castle. Was it just co-incidental that I attended (De Courcy-Wheeler's) Monkstown Hopital for treatment?
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Rocker » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:49 am

Micheál,

Fascinating reading about the Findlater and Wheeler families.A huge chunk of social history. I'd say the author has done years of painstaking work to make the book look seamless.

I always called "Wheeler's Castle" Monkstown Castle...have to go and look for the Real Monkstown Castle :oops:

Back to reading the Findlater story it is packed with details of a bygone era.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby spudseamus » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:50 pm

Re the Findlarer blunderbuss mentioned in the 1916 report ,it still exists and my brother had it in his hands recently :D
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Gulliver » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:20 pm

I wrote a piece about it some years ago, and was contacted by a member of the Cheever family, resident in England. That family also owned Dalkey Castle and much more besides, as is clear from the Down Survey maps which have come online recently.

The definitive history of the castle is told in Francis Erlington Ball's "A History of the County Dublin". He seems to consider it so important that it is Chapter 1 of Vol 1 of his huge history. It is too long to deal with here, but is available for £4.99 from [url]flatcapsandbonnets.com[/url] on the "Province of Leinster" CD-ROM which includes over 100 historical books and documents. A shorter history is in "The Book of Dun Laoghaire", in a chapter written by the late Fr. Vincent Quilter.

It seems to have been in ruin since the 1820s or earlier, but was advertised in 1790 as "The Second Best Castle in Dublin" The numerous rooms included a saloon, library, gallery and chapel. offices, gardens, an ice house, ferneries and greenhouses.

On OSI maps, the ruin is always referred to as "Castle (Ruins), and the title Monkstown Castle is always given to the large house off Monkstown Avenue, But Ball's history uses both the name "Castle of Monkstown" and Monkstown Castle, referring to the ruin at the roundabout. I must check the OPW sign at the ruin. Roques map (1756) refers to "The Castle", but Taylors map (1816) calls it Monkstown Castle, and shows the building on Monkstown Ave as "Monkstown Lo".
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Micheál » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:10 pm

Gulliver wrote:The definitive history of the castle is told in Francis Erlington Ball's "A History of the County Dublin". He seems to consider it so important that it is Chapter 1 of Vol 1 of his huge history.


Here is is
http://www.archive.org/stream/ahistorycountyd03ballgoog#page/n20/mode/2up

More on-line resources on our site here -
http://www.dunlaoghairecounty.ie/viewtopic.php?p=108143#p108143
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Micheál » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:55 am

This is potentially embarrassing.

I got information today that turns my 'knowledge' about Wheelers Castle on its head.

I'm reliably told there was a "Dr Wheeler" living in the other "Monkstown Castle" in our lifetime (1940s +) and that his residence was the one alongside Dunedin that later became the Icelandic Ambassadors residence. And so, being that recent, he couldn't have been living in the ruined castle.

So that would suggest the nickname "Wheelers" is more likely to apply to the modern building rather than the ruin. I wonder how I and my boyhood friends, (and that essay-writer in the 1930s project who referred to Dr DeCourcy-Wheeler) came to apply the nickname to the ruined one?

Or could it be that the DeCourcy-Wheelers were long-time residents of the area, living/owning the ruined castle before taking up residence further up Monkstown Avenue?

To give weight to the new theory - I notice that in a 1918 directory, we had "Dr R. de C Wheeler" living at 2 Clifton Place

Any views?
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby slipper » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi Miceal!
I was born mid 40s in the Farm and can remember that before that housing estate...the one between the castle and the Dunedin entrance...I think its called Castle Park was built. And if my memory serves me well all the land there was part of Dr.Wheeler's( who was a local GP and consultant at Monkstown hospital) estate.I believe that the castle was locally referred to as Wheelers by virtue of its proximity to the Dr's residence and that the correct name for it is Monkstown Castle.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Maxjc » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:38 pm

It seems as if I am very late in picking up this thread. It may have been me, that made contact following the article on Monkstown Castle. I was taken back to see the site described as Wheelers Castle,
since I thought I had exhausted all sources, and since reading Elringtin Ball's history, more than 50 years ago.
It was a relief to find that Wheelers, was never officially the alternative name of the castle. Having completed a book on the history of Chevers, a chapter is devoted to Monkstown, and to a lesser extent Cheeverstown.
Following the disolution of the monasteries, Monkstown was granted to Sir John Travers, Master of Ordnance, and through marriage to Katharine, one of his grand-daughters, was inherited, by Chevers, following the death of her sister Mary, widow of James Eustace, 3rd Viscount Baltinglass, who rebelled against Elizabeth 1, and who escaped through Wexford to Spain, aided by the Wexford Martyrs, incuding Edward Chevers, a sailor. From November1610, until December 1653, Chevers held Monkstown, until transplantation in that year, following which Edmund Ludlow, a Cromwellian Commissionr, made it his residence, and greatly improved the property. Following the restoration of Charles 11, Monkstown was restored to Walter Chevers, who sold it in 1678 to Michael Boyle, Lord Primate, and Chancellor of Ireland. He built Blessington, following his aquisition of Three Castles, from Walter Chevers. Failure of male issue, of Murrough Boyle, his son, resulted in the freehold of the Monkstown lands, beng inherited by Lords Longford and de Vesci.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Strum » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:42 pm

Welcome Max and thanks for the input. ;)
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Rocker » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:01 am

Thank you Maxjc. That is a great piece of history.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Denis Cromie » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Welcome aboard Maxjc,good information.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Micheál » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:32 am

Welcome Maxjc,

The "Wheelers" designation is a long-standing nickname in the area. I'm guessing since the early 1900s. As Slipper has already mentioned, its clearly a reference to its being in the control/ownership of the De Coursey-Wheelers of nearby (competitively named) modern Monkstown Castle.

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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Maxjc » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:27 pm

Over the doorway, leading to the chapel of the castle, was a head, carved in stone, representing Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Legend has it that one of the Cromwellian soldiers, levelled an insult at the holy statue and was at once, smitten with blindness.
Tradition has it that once a year, a representative of the Cheevers family, came to the Blackrock Cross, to throw a spear, over the Cross, to assert his claim to the land, as far as he stood.
Source: Chevers of Killyan, by Frederica S. Chevers.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Rocker » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:46 pm

Thank you Maxjc for that information. I really know so little about places I pass every day.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Zirco » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:52 pm

Maxjc wrote:Over the doorway, leading to the chapel of the castle, was a head, carved in stone, representing Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Legend has it that one of the Cromwellian soldiers, levelled an insult at the holy statue and was at once, smitten with blindness.
Tradition has it that once a year, a representative of the Cheevers family, came to the Blackrock Cross, to throw a spear, over the Cross, to assert his claim to the land, as far as he stood.
Source: Chevers of Killyan, by Frederica S. Chevers.


Fascinating information, thanks Maxjc. wuu
A Cheevers family lived at 110 Oliver Plunkett Road back in the 50s and 60s.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Strum » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:49 am

Yes great little tale. There are many stories about the Castle. As a kid we heard a story that there was supposed to be a ghost of a Monk who threw himself off one the Towers at midnight, and years later I read a story about the last Monk in the Castle after an attack fled to the Tower and threw himself off it. Urban myth? History?
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby dmy1356 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:35 pm

I find this thread fascinating and very insightful to read about the history of Monkstown Castle and what remains of it today. I am currently undertaking a fifteen minute TV Documentary as my final project as part of a Masters Degree in 'Broadcast Production for Television'. I am particularly interested in the 'Cheevers' family and their reign as owners of the castle in the 1600's because I know they also owned Dalkey Castle at that same time.

Would there be a historian or potentially an extended informed member of the Cheever family in the Dun Laoghaire area who would be willing to participate in a ten-minute interview discussing the history of Monkstown Castle and the Cheevers family reign? I would be looking to conduct the interview ideally next week (week of April 24th). Any feedback would be much appreciated.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Maxjc » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:17 pm

I have recently completed a book on Chevers, from its early Norman origin, with a Dublin chapter, which covers Monkstown in considerable detail. As to an interview, I live most of the year in Spain,
but I am contactable by phone on a U.K. phone number...441689768732, alternatively by mobile....34634359342, by email:maxchevers@hotmail.co.uk. I am also on Facebook and Messenger.
I do not expect to be in Ireland until Heritage Week, in August, when I expect to have a Book Launch in Dublin and another in Co. Galway.
The book is entitled 'The House of Chevers' and is available through Fast-Print Bookshop, and also appears under Amazon UK, which I did not authorise, since I agreed to forgo any royalties, for consent of TCD to use their transcriptions, of the 1641 Depositions. The book is in A4, 368pp, part colour, and a bit of a heavyweight at 1.8 kilos.

With best regards,

Max Chevers
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Micheál » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:58 am

What a coincidence. Today's Irish Times . . .

"University was founded in 1592 and the hockey club has been around since 1893. So who better than Ireland’s oldest former international hockey player, Dorothea Findlater, to present the inaugural Wheeler Plate.

Findlater turned 107 years old on December 27th, 2016, making it 81 years, give or take a few months, since she was selected to win her first Irish cap in 1936. That earned her an epic “slow boat” trip to the US.

“We had great fun. It was most enjoyable,” says Doris, who lives at home on Newtownpark Avenue in Blackrock. “It took a week to get to America.”

A graduate of Trinity in 1932, the then Doris de Courcy-Wheeler met and married Dermot Findlater, one of a well-known family of Dublin merchants. Doris’s mother Lena Knox was a hockey player as were her two aunts Nita and Ella, who also played for Ireland between 1899 and 1902, which gives Doris a life experience of knowing people born across three centuries."
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby dmy1356 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:33 am

Max! You would be the perfect person to interview for this 15-minute documentary; because I have filmed a piece on Dalkey Island, Dalkey Castle, I will be filming a piece on Monkstown Castle this week; and I am also going to travel to Galway to film a piece on the house in Killian which I believe the family moved to in 1667 following Cromwell's reign as King of England. I am able to source local historians to speak about the buildings generally, but not in depth about the Chevers family which is what I am lacking. How can I get you to Ireland next week, haha.

Maxjc wrote:I have recently completed a book on Chevers, from its early Norman origin, with a Dublin chapter, which covers Monkstown in considerable detail. As to an interview, I live most of the year in Spain,
but I am contactable by phone on a U.K. phone number...441689768732, alternatively by mobile....34634359342, by email:maxchevers@hotmail.co.uk. I am also on Facebook and Messenger.
I do not expect to be in Ireland until Heritage Week, in August, when I expect to have a Book Launch in Dublin and another in Co. Galway.
The book is entitled 'The House of Chevers' and is available through Fast-Print Bookshop, and also appears under Amazon UK, which I did not authorise, since I agreed to forgo any royalties, for consent of TCD to use their transcriptions, of the 1641 Depositions. The book is in A4, 368pp, part colour, and a bit of a heavyweight at 1.8 kilos.

With best regards,

Max Chevers
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Maxjc » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:02 am

Good to hear from you, and a great pity I am not in Ireland. Monkstown was granted to Sir John Travers, in 1545, following the dissolution of the monasteries. His son Henry predeceased him. It was inherited by his eldest daughter Mary, who married the rebel James Eustace, 3rd Viscount Baltinglass,
And on Mary's death in 1610, by Henry Cheevers, her sister Katherine's 2nd son. The estates of Monkstown, extended to seven counties. In Dec. 1653, Henry's son Walter was transplanted to Killian,
but was restored to Monkstown, in 1660. Monkstown was sold to Michael Boyle, Lord Chancellor, and Archbishop of Armagh. Walter's cousin, John of Macetown, Co. Meath, received a grant of Killian in 1667. A good account is to be found in Burkes East Galway.com, and as far as local information is concerned, I think John Joe Crehan, is maybe the most knowledgeable in Newbridge.
My grandfather was the last head of family, to live at Killyan, and little remains except the extended Gate-Lodge, the chapel and burial ground, in the old cemetery, and the Grand Gates, at St Jarlaths, Mountbellew, now threatened with closure. Feel free to ask if you need anything further from afar.
Whether these notes are of some use, I do not know, but they cannot compensate for an interview.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Denis Cromie » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:57 pm

There's no end to the diversity of topics on this site. Take a bow Strum. wuu wuu wuu
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Strum » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:08 pm

Denis Cromie wrote:There's no end to the diversity of topics on this site. Take a bow Strum. wuu wuu wuu




Cheers Denis, not me though, it's the input of the members. Interesting stuff alright. thumbright
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Rocker » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:32 pm

Strum wrote:
Denis Cromie wrote:There's no end to the diversity of topics on this site. Take a bow Strum. wuu wuu wuu




Cheers Denis, not me though, it's the input of the members. Interesting stuff alright. thumbright


Well personally I love the fact that Maxjc trusted this site to put details of his lifetime research. No one here has any hidden agenda and I think people appreciate that. I have enjoyed the topic so much and learned so much too.Go on Strum take a bow.
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Re: Monkstown Castle & "Wheelers" Castle

Postby Maxjc » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:57 pm

Since as mentioned earlier, my book is already published, I am only too happy, to share what I have learned. Without this record, which has lasted a millennium, it would so easily have been lost, once time with me shall be no more.
Last edited by Maxjc on Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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