History


Miss Elizabeth Mageough died in 1869 and in her will after her various bequests and expenses had been paid it was discovered that there was a residue of £36856.13s.10d of 3% stock and £7590.12s.5d of Bank of Ireland Stock - a total of £444447.6s.3d. In her will she had directed than any residue should be given on Trust to three clergy and three laity of the Church of England who she named in her will. Her wish was that the residue would go towards building a suitable place for elderly ladies to live. By the time she had died the Church of England in Ireland had been disestablished and one of the Trustees, Dr Charles Fleury, had already died so there was a delay before the Trust could be applied as the various legal problems were sorted out. The Trustees first met then in 1871 and appointed Mr Rawson Carroll as their architect. He was directed to visit various buildings in England and draw up some designs. He presented the Board with drawings of something very like the current building but there was major disagreement about them at the Board leading to the resignation of the Revd. Edward Metcalf, the secretary to the Trustees.

Having appointed replacements for Dr Fleury and Mr Metcalf the Trustee's agreed the current plans and after almost a year of searching for a suitable site all across south Dublin they purchased the current site from the Rt. Hon. Cowper Temple, a relative of Lord Palmerston the British Prime Minister. It was situated in a field just off Milltown Path, a lane which meandered across open country from Rathmines Bridge to the railway bridge over the Dodder which had only recently been constructed. After the Mageough was completed Cowper Road, Palmerston Road and Temple Road were laid out around it.

After the first estimates for the building were received it was found that they were far too high and there was a complete rethink leading to the appearance remaining exactly but the construction being of poured concrete, bringing the build in under budget. This quote was for £16,770 and was from Moyers Builders of Portobello. Mr Moyers, an uncle by marriage of Edward Carson was later to be a Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The first residents moved in in November 1878 by which time a Registrar, Matron and Chaplain had been appointed. There were various problems to be sorted out with residents and neighbouring churches especially when an exceptionally able Chaplain, the Revd. Benjamin Gibson, was appointed in 1880. He remained as joint Registrar and Chaplain until his death in 1907 and during that time filled the Chapel not only with residents but with an eclectic and wealthy congregation who benefited the Mageough greatly.

That was perhaps its high point and subsequent Chaplains, World Wars and political changes made the survival of the Mageough something of a struggle. But survive it did and with amendments to the Trust agreed with the Charitable Commissions, in 2006, the Mageough, now catering for men and married couples, has returned to something like its former glory.

The current Board and Manger are building on the work of recent Managers and generous benefactors and are upgrading the houses as they become vacant. The grounds are probably in better shape than they ever were making the Mageough a delightful place to live.