NAME Thorn Hill/Thornhill
AREA LOCATION STILLORGAN, entrance to the house is through Cherrygarth Estate on Trees Road, Mount Merrion.
MAP LOCATION OSI maps of 1838-1845 and 1898-1913 place it in the townland of Stillorgan North and it is annotated as Thorn Hill on both maps and it also appears on 1816 and 1821 maps.
GENERAL An ivy-clad Georgian plain 3-bay mansion, two storey over basement with Ionic portico, the fanlight may be Edwardian but the glass is pure Georgian, secreted away on a substantial site off Trees Road, it was the long-time family home of hotelier PV Doyle and his wife Margaret. PV Doyle purchased the period house in 1960 when the house stood on 13 acres. Originally it had two gate lodges - one on the lower Kilmacud Road (close to South Avenue and no longer extant) and one on the old Dublin Road which survives beside Oatlands College along with part of the old entrance avenue, sadly overgrown.
The house has gone though a number of unsympathetic additions in the 1900's and a lack of maintenance in the 21st century but a substantial amount of the original building survives including the stables. The house still has its original granite quoins although the façade has been dashed. Sash windows with original Georgian glass, Portland stone flagstones, curved door joinery and some of the ceilings also seem to be original to the house, as do two fireplaces and some over-door panelling. Of major architectural significance to the area as the other large houses in Stillorgan North (Beaufield, Oatlands, The Priory and Mount Merrion House) have mostly been demolished.
Carysfort maps from 1860 show the house as being bordered on two sides by the Mount Merrion Demesne wall, whether these are the original or have been rebuilt would be pure speculation as the site is now private. The land was held by Robert Emmet and then in 1799 was in the possession of Thomas Addis Emmet who leased it to William Fleming for 95 years. Lease for 50 years from Earl of Carysfort of Glenart Co Wicklow to Thomas Talbot Power of Inverusk, Ballybrack, County Dublin for 50 years, included is 16 acres and two gate lodges. In 1926 Sir Thomas Talbot Power of the Irish Distillers Group gifted Thornhill House to William Ryan. In 1959 Veronica Ryan opened a school at the house. The gate lodge on the Kilmacud Road was demolished in the late 1960's early 70's and a new bungalow built in its place.
YEAR BUILT circa 1799
VALUATION In 1912 the valuation was 112 pounds and in the 1901 census it is noted
as having 13 rooms occupied by family.
ARCHITECT Unknown, but has been attributed to a William Farrell, although it looks more
like a Richard Morrison design.
SOURCES Thom’s directories, contemporaneous newspapers, Registry of Deeds, OSI Maps,
South Dublin Historical Mapping and NAI Census & Wills.
1799 Land formerly held by Robert Emmet now in the possession of Thomas Addis
Emmet leased to William Fleming for 95 years (16A 0P 32.5R)
1796 - 1843 John George
1846 - 1847 James West
1847 - 1855 Thomas Wilson
1849 - 1851 Leased to Cornelius Creagh by John George
1852 - 1855 John George Esq
1856 - 1858 Captain I S Whitty
1855 - 1865 William Pugh Gardner
1869 - 1870 John D Molloy Esq
1872 - 1883 Robert Exham Turbett
1875 - 1876 Robert James Turbett
1887 - 1906 James Quin Forrest, JP & Family
1908 - 1925 Sir Thomas Talbot Power
1925 - 1959 William Ryan & Ryan Family
1960 - 2012 PV Doyle
1960 Land sold off for Cherrygarth estate (60 houses)
1970 Lodge on Kilmacud Road demolished
2012 - 2019 David Doyle
2019 Steward Doyle of Oakview Property (nephew of PV) for about 8.3 Million.
2020 Planning application D20A/0432
1849 Brigid Killeen – Gatekeeper
1872 Jane Redmond - Servant
1872 - 1878 John Walsh - Coachman
1876 - 1879 Michael Killeen - Stewart
1889 John Reilly - Servant
1898 Alice Barrett
1901 Bridget Keegan - Parlour maid
Ellen Phillips – Hospital maid
Kate Byrne – House maid
Annie Blake - Cook
Christina Crosby - Kitchen maid
1901 John Dickinson - Gardener (living at lodge)
Richard Cooper - Gardener (living at lodge)
1903 - 1904 Roger Gethings - Labourer (living at gate lodge)
1904 Richard Wilkie - Gardener
1910 - 1911 Arthur Arlott - Chauffeur
1911 Catherine Murphy - Cook
Mary Murphy – Parlour maid
Beatrice Tozer - House maid
Annie Dempsey - Ladies maid
1911 John Brennan - Gardener (living at gate lodge on Dublin Road)
1900 - 1933 Edward Whelan - General Labourer/Herd (living at gatelodge on Kilmacud Road)
1933 - 1937 Whelan family - living at gate lodge on Kilmacud Road
1959 - 1967 Henry (Harry) Harkin - Gardener (Living at gate lodge on Kilamacud Road)*
STATUS Extant and advertised for rental at 7K per month in 2016. Under serious threat
by property developers. The house is a protected structure. Owners applied for
planning permission (D17A/0240) in 2017 to build 47 dwellings on the grounds.
CONTRIBUTOR ©June Bow & Karen Poff
DATE April 2017
The Ryans of Thornhill, had a wonderful gardener in Mr Henry Harkins, who lived in an old gate lodge
with his family (his wife helped out in The Children's House school well into the late '70's). The gate
lodge was demolished by the Council under a CPO to allow for road-widening, and in its place was
built the small white bungalow that still exists next to the pedestrian entrance to Cherry Garth on the
Lr Kilmacud road.