Temple Hill House
NAME Neptune on the Temple Hill/Neptune/Templehill House/Temple Hill House
AREA LOCATION Blackrock, access from Temple crescent off Temple Road.
MAP LOCATION OSI maps of 1838-1845 and 1898-1913 place it in the townland of
Seapoint Templehill and is annotated at Temple Hill on both maps.
Seapoint Templehill was part of Stillorgan until the Norman conquest.
By the dissolution of the monasteries it was called Newtown and
in the 16th Century is was known as Newtown Castle Byrne but by
the 18th century it was known as The Black Rock before becoming
GENERAL Neptune on Temple Hill renamed Temple Hill House circa 1782 is a
two storey over basement, Georgian Villa. It's a three-bay building of fine cut-granite with a
pedimented doorcase and Doric pilasters. It is set on a slope on an elevated site. Inside the
front door is a double-height front hall and throughout the ground floor there is carefully
restored neo-classical plasterwork attributed to the stuccodore Patrick Osborne. The
original part of the house extends to approx. 13,000sq ft. The three reception rooms on the
ground floor still have their cornices and coving intact. It was the home to the Earl of
Clonmel (aka Copper Face Jack, a nickname he acquired for his aggressiveness in
argument and the colour of his cheeks) who was Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1784.
Land from this estate was sold in 1859 by Robert Gray for the establishment of a Quaker
burial ground. His son Thomas was the incumbent of Stillorgan Church from 1852 to 1872.
Between 1947 and 1975, 572 children are reported as being "exported" to America from
Temple Hill House. Babies were sent to St. Patrick's Infant Hospital, Temple Hill before
being adopted. Mothers did not live at Temple Hill and from the death register it would
appear that these woman were mainly domestics, their children registered in large
numbers before they reached 6 months as dying from gastroenteritis or similar. In the
late 1980s the house was purported to have been used by Sinn Féin and the Irish
government for secret meetings in the lead up to the peace talks.
YEAR BUILT circa 1767 and rebuilt c1782
VALUATION In 1880 the valuation was 184 pounds.
OF ROOMS Unknown
SOURCES Thom’s directories, contemporaneous newspapers, Registry of Deeds,
NAI Census & Wills and OSI Maps.
1744 Lands bought by Sergeant James Dennis of Cork (created Baron Tracton)
1767 - 1782 “Neptune on the Temple Hill” built for James Dennis, Lord Chief baron of
the exchequer, Later Lord Tracton
1782 - 1797 John Scott (1st Earl of Clonmel) on the death of James Dennis
1807 Purchased by the Earl of Aldborough
1845 - 1871 Robert Gray
1871 - 1875 John Trew Gray
1877 - 1879 Mrs Power
1880 - 1896 Miss Frances Emily Power (RIP 1896)
1914 - 1915 Temple Hill Convalescent Home (loaned by Hubert Power of Faithlegg, Waterford)
1915 - 1919 Re-opened in May as Temple Hill Auxiliary Military Hospital
1928 Miss Mary Josephine Cruice (lease signed Mar 1929)
1943 - 1985 Sisters of Charity – St Patrick's Infant Diatetic Hospital and Nursery College.
1991 Chuck Feeney and let to Trinity College Dublin for use as a residence.
2000 Bernard McNamara - Property developer
2013 Ulster Bank
2014 Greg Kavanagh – Crosswaithe Property Development
2015 McGreevy family of Bushnell Investments
2017 House converted into four apartments and thirteen houses built in the grounds.
1849 George Byrne, Gatekeeper
1852 - 1862 Mr Tobin - Gardener
1863 - 1864 Mr Mason - Gardener
1865 Mr Gallaher - Gardener
1866 Mr Flynn
1867 Mr Stotesbury - Gardener
1868 - 1874 Mr Thomas Moore - Gardener/Manager (editor of the Gardener's Record)
1877 Mr Curran - Gardener
1878 Mr Mooney - Gardener
STATUS Extant and a protected structure. Converted into four apartments retaining original
stain glass windows and ornate plaster work. Some original fireplaces remain and the
external stone work has been restored.
CONTRIBUTOR ©June Bow & Karen Poff
DATE July 2017