Grangegorman: A Thousand Years in the Making with Professor Raymond Gillespie



Many members of the public and staff joined Raymond Gillespie MRIA for a talk about the history of the unusual landscape that was Grangegorman before the institutions, as part of Heritage Week 2023.

Grangegorman is an unusual and very complex  place. In the midst of nineteenth-century urban sprawl, represented by Stoneybatter and Oxmantown, it is an oasis of open space with solid impressive buildings juxtaposed with artisan dwellings. This world of contradiction did not come about by accident. The institutions that occupied the open space in the nineteenth century were certainly responsible for part of its character but the story is more nuanced than this. Grangegorman’s documented history stretched back to the eleventh century, through the agricultural world of the middle ages when it was a manor held by Christ Church cathedral (who still held the manorial rights in the nineteenth century). From the seventeenth century, new landlords became involved in the regions, giving different shapes to the landscape and developing new functions. In the eighteenth century part of it became a gentleman’s retreat as well as having a much sought after suburban housing. These earlier periods left indelible impression on the place and this lecture will convey something of Grangegorman’s evolution before the institutions.

Please note: this is the same lecture repeated.

Raymond Gillespie MRIA is Professor emeritus of History at Maynooth University and an editor on the Honorary Editorial Board of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas. His main research interest is social change in early modern Ireland.