Caretaker’s Lodge at Gulistan, Rathmines, Dublin

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GulistanJanuary's Manuscript of the Month is the Caretaker’s Lodge at Gulistan, Rathmines, Dublin

Between 1847 and 1930, the Rathmines and Rathgar Township was an entity separate from Dublin City and held the same powers and functions as all local government in Ireland.  As early as 1888, the Township Commissioners obtained Counsel’s Opinion confirming that they had the right to build ‘Artisan Dwellings’ and in 1891 they purchased the lands of Gulistan for this purpose.   This curious name may have been inspired by the epic poem The Gulistan, written by the 13th century Persian poet, Sadi, which was published in an English-language translation in 1787.

The new estate of Gulistan Terrace was complete by Oct 1898 and the Township then decided to provide a caretaker for the development along with a house for him to live in.  The noted architect Frederick G. Hicks was asked to design the Caretaker’s Lodge and it was constructed by the building contractor John Pemberton in 1899.

Caretaker’s Lodge at Gulistan, Rathmines, Dublin

UDC/1/6/36 Design for Caretaker's Lodge, Gulistan, Rathmines  (click to enlarge)


The design is to a very high standard.  The ground plan features a tiled porch and entrance hallway with a parlour opening off the hall.  There is a kitchen with a larder off it, and a separate scullery.  The back garden is paved and there is a good-sized coal-house.   Upstairs there are three good-sized bedrooms and a useful store-room – what was known as a ‘glory-hole’. The section shows a wooden staircase with banisters. The exterior is finished in render, with reveals in Dumfries stone and there is even an elevation showing the elaborate front fence and gate.   Yet further detail is available in Hicks’ handwritten specification, given to Pemberton.

The Archives of the Rathmines and Rathgar Township, 1847-1930 are held at Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street.

Manuscript of the Month

Each month, Dublin City Archives will be showcasing a manuscript from their collections on our blog. Check back next month for the next instalment!


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