MEETING OF THE ROADS [PETRIE – GILBERT – DUFFERIN – GREENVILLE]
This is a complicated junction in the Tenters area of Dublin 8 especially as Greenville Avenue connects to Petrie Road at two different locations.
The streets are Petrie Road, Gilbert Road, Greenville Avenue and Dufferin Avenue.
Some of this area was once part of the Greenville Estate and Farmlands and was described by the Irish Times in 1875 as the healthiest part of Dublin.
Houses on Dufferin Avenue were constructed from 1899 to 1901, and it was once considered the most prosperous middle-class street north of the South Circular Road.
I still need to confirm that Dufferin Avenue is named after Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava but I am hoping that it is because of the following story:
Dufferin often told a tale of how he once saw a ghost which saved his life. Late one night in 1849, while staying in a house in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, he heard a hearse draw up, and looked down and saw a man walking across the lawn carrying a coffin on his back. The man stopped and looked up at Dufferin and their eyes met for a moment, before he continued on into the shadows and disappeared. Dufferin thought the whole event might have been just a bad dream, but the next morning his hostess assured him that the next time he saw the apparition, he would die. Some years later Dufferin – by this point, the British ambassador to France – recognised the lift operator at the Grand Hotel in Paris as the man he had seen in the garden in Ireland. He refused to get into the lift and a moment later it crashed, killing the occupants including the mysterious man, who had only begun work at the hotel that morning.
I am assuming that Gilbert Road is named after John Thomas Gilbert. A History Of The City Of Dublin by John Thomas Gilbert was written between 1854-1859 in three volumes and is a highly detailed account of the history of his native city from earliest Viking times until the 19th century.
John Thomas Gilbert was the second son of John Gilbert, an English Protestant, who was Portuguese consul in Dublin, and Marianne Gilbert, an Irish Catholic, daughter of Henry Costello. He was born in Jervis Street, Dublin. His early days were spent at Branackstown, County Meath. He was educated at Bective College, Dublin, and at Prior Park, near Bath, England. He received no university training, as his mother was unwilling for him to attend Trinity College, Dublin – at that time the only university in Dublin. In 1846 his family moved to Blackrock, a Dublin suburb, where he resided until his death, fifty-two years later.
Aged nineteen, he was elected to the Council of the Celtic Society, and thus became associated with some of the famous writers and orators of the age: Butt, Duffy, Ferguson, Mitchel, O’Hagan, and Smith O’Brien. His essay “Historical Literature of Ireland” appeared in 1851, and four years later he became a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and secretary of the Irish Celtic and Archaeological Society, whose members included O’Donovan, O’Curry, Graves, Todd, and Wilde. In 1862 he was awarded the Royal Irish Academy’s Cunningham Medal.
Taking on the most important posts in the historical and antiquarian societies, he became librarian of the Royal Irish Academy for thirty-four years. In 1891 he married the Irish novelist Rosa Mulholland. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the Royal University in 1892, and five years later was knighted for his services to archaeology and history.
The Gilbert Library, in Dublin’s Pearse Street, is named after him.
George Petrie was born in Dublin, Ireland, and grew up there, living at 21 Great Charles Street, just off Mountjoy Square. He was the son of the portrait and miniature painter James Petrie, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who had settled in Dublin. He was interested in art from an early age. He was sent to the Dublin Society’s Schools, being educated as an artist, where he won the silver medal in 1805, aged fourteen.