2003:2070 - Blessington Demesne, Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: Blessington Demesne

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0453

Author: Sinéad Phelan, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Post-medieval house

ITM: E 697206m, N 714934m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.175986, -6.545908

A second phase of assessment at Blessington Demesne, at the location of Downshire House, took place on 31 March 2003. The housing development, which also includes retail educational and leisure facilities, is within the confines of Blessington Demesne. The development also includes the construction of a portion of the Blessington inner relief road through the townlands of Newpaddocks, Holyvalley, Haylands and Santryhill. Blessington Demesne is located west of Blessington village. The main avenue runs from Blessington Church to the remains of Downshire House. Michael Doyle, Archbishop of Dublin, constructed Downshire House in the late 17th century. A solitary stairwell with an underground cellar is the only visible remains of the house.

Seven test-trenches were mechanically excavated to a depth of 0.5m across the location of the house. The original layout of Downshire House, and all the features identified, were surveyed and recorded.