Monkstown Quakers

The Quaker meeting house in Monkstown has been in use for more than 170 years. The area around Blackrock, Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire became a popular residential area at the beginning of the 19th century and the population quadrupled in thirty years. Many of those who moved to the area were people who wanted to move out of Dublin to the suburbs and who were willing to commute to their jobs in the city. Several Quaker families were amongst those who opted for suburban living. At this early stage it was the well-to-do who could afford to move to the suburbs and Monkstown Quakers at the time were merchants and industrialists.

They included:

Thomas Pim, merchant, of Monkstown House
Henry Perry, ironmonger, of Obelisk Park, Blackrock
James Perry, iron manufacturer, of Obelisk Park, Blackrock
Jonathan Pim, textile manufacturer, of Greenbank, Monkstown
James Pim, merchant, of Monkstown Castle

Monkstown Quaker Meeting House
Monkstown Quaker Meeting House

Other early Monkstown Quakers included Alexander, Barrington, Bewley, Chandlee and several other members of the Pim family.

Exactly when Quakers started having Quaker meetings for worship in Monkstown is not recorded. The initial meetings would have been held in private houses. By the late 1820s there were enough Quakers in the district for them to rent rooms in a hotel for their meeting. Seapoint House was a hotel on Seapoint Avenue, close to where Seapoint DART station stands today, and on the site now occupied by Ardenza Terrace.

A record of the first meeting for worship in Monkstown Meeting House
A record of the first meeting for worship in Monkstown Meeting House

Here Quaker meetings were held until they were able to build their own meeting house at the junction of Pakenham Road and Carrickbrennan Road. This was completed in 1832.

Over time more Quakers moved to live in the area and again they were mainly merchants and manufacturers. The newcomers included Thomas Bewley, sugar refiner, of Rockville, Blackrock, and Jonathan Goodbody, stockbroker, of Pembroke House, Blackrock. Other residents included members of the Jacob, Wigham and Pearson families.

Temple Hill Quaker burial ground, Blackrock
Temple Hill Quaker burial ground, Blackrock

The burial ground for Dublin Quakers is at Temple Hill, Blackrock where it was first established in the 1860s to replace a burial ground in Dublin city centre.

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