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.