Tuesday, November 8, 2011


BLACKROCK STATION, originally uploaded by infomatique.

Blackrock has a station on the Dublin Area Rapid Transit line, or DART. It is a 15 minute ride to city centre from Blackrock Station. Dublin Bus also serves the area with multiple bus routes. This runs on the track that was built in 1834 as the Dublin-Kingstown railway. That railway revived Blackrock which had been in decline.
That railway line had a dramatic effect of the coastline of Blackrock. The Rock Road was once directly beside the sea, and the railway line was built about 50 meters from the coast, giving the impression that the trains were running on water. However, the intervening area soon became marshland, and the area between Williamstown and Blackrock became Blackrock Park. Lord Cloncurry of Maretimo and Sir Harcourt Lees of Blackrock House refused to allow the Railway company to build the line through their lands. They were persuaded with generous compensation as well as a private harbour (Vances Harbour) and numerous buildings built on their lands for them. These included the Cloncurry Towers bridge, a granite bridge over the railway tunnel, a gothic summer-house in the grounds of Blackrock House, and a doric bathing-temple in the grounds of Maretimo. Unfortunately in April 2004, the Doric Temple was badly vandalised and lost its portico. The Cloncurry Towers have been in disrepair for some years now, their windows are boarded up, the deck covered in corrugated iron, their chimneys (disguised as urns) removed and their far entrance demolished.
More recently the Blackrock bypass has had a huge effect on the area, carving a divide between the village and the rest of the area. The land facing onto the dual-carraigeway has been largely developed with high-density brown-bricked office buildings some of loom at an altitude of up to four-times the height of adjacent buildings.
Blackrock Village has remained relatively intact. Two landmarks have disappeared in recent history. The Findlaters building, with its distinctive clock, was demolished in the eighties when Bank of Ireland decided to build a new office on the site. The Stella Cinema and an adjoining building were replaced with a mixed residential/commercial development.
There was formerly a tramway running through Blackrock to a terminus which is now the Europa Mazda Centre/Smart dealership, though there are plans to demolish it and replace it with a residential development.
There are proposals to develop the site on Bath Place which faces the sea. These are currently pay & display car parks.
Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has repeatedly called for a pedestrian bridge between Frascati Shopping Centre and Blackrock Shopping Centre, despite the fact that the upstairs level of the Blackrock Centre is on the same level as the ground floor of the Frascati Shopping Centre. A more suitable (albeit more expensive and less simple) idea would be to put the Blackrock Bypass underground.

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