I had very agreeable company to Ringsend, and was nobly treated at the King's Head at this dear place. I took my leave of my friends and now looked towards Dublin; but , how to get at it we no more knew than the fox at the grapes, for though we say a large strand yet 'twas not to be walked over, because of a pretty rapid stream (the Dodder) which must be crossed; we enquired for a coach, and found no such thing was to be had there, unless by accident, but were informed we might have a Ringsend carr, which upon my desire was called, and we got upon it , not into it..... I paid 4d.for one fair of a mile's riding.---John Dunton 1699
Cromwell and his Round-heads arrived at Ringsend as Lord Lieutenant at the start of his ruthless murdering campaign to banish all the Papist Irish 'to Hell or to Connacht' on behalf of the English parliament in 1649.
In the eighteenth century much land was reclaimed from the sea with the confinement of the dear old Liffey, the wild Dodder and the gentle Swan waters and the new found land was called New Holland, probably because of the similar reclaimation work done there along the Zeider sea.
The Poolbeg lighthouse took seven years from 1761 to build and it was joined to the mainland at Ringsend by a granite causeway of over 12 km. in length and 10 metre wide at the top. The lighthouse is at the focus of Dublin bay, being equidistant from Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Howth, commanding panoramic views of the whole coastline and the mountains behind; in former times it was used as a safe anchorage for sailing vessels.
The purpose of the very long causeway,called the south Bull wall, was to try and prevent the shifting sands from the south fouling up the approach to the Liffey at the centre of Dublin port.But this did not solve the silting problem and in 1800 Captain Bligh
, late of the Bounty, was sent in to find a solution, which was probably one of the few good things that came out of the act of union of Ireland with England, Scotland and Wales..
This much maligned genius did in fact, come up with the solution, which was to build a second causeway, the north Bull wall, north of the river mouth and thus cause the restricted Liffey estuary to flush down to open sea all drifting sand in its path.The opening to the sea at the extreemities of the two bull walls was reduced to only 200 metre.
Captain Bligh was the one and only man to have surveyed Dublin bay before or since so as to establish the deep areas for navigation and the position of sndbars and rocky outcrops.
Many travellers through Dublin bay owe their lives and safe passage to the good Captain as before his time the bay was notorious for shipwrecks.
The festival was established by Royal Charter in 1204 as a diversion for the citizens of Dublin and it was carried on outside the walls of the city on the banks of the Dodder at a place called the 'Forty Acres' where the city slickers could meet the country jackeens and have a party to end all parties renowned for its fighting, dancing, love-making and gaiety; it survived for 600 years until 1855, when some business men raised public funds for a hostile take over of the 'patent' and then let it lapse; not unlike the story of the closing down of Bewleys, those equally famous Dublin Cafés, at present.
In 1900 the same Forty Acres became the site for the Great Exhibition, opened by no less a person than Her Majesty, the Queen, Victoria; and it was hoped that this Exhibition would show the world that the Irish were no longer a wild fighting lot except when in the service of Her Majesty as food for cannons on the frontiers of Empire.
'A large and pleasant village, two miles from the castle of Dublin, and much frequented by the citizens of Dublin, on account of the good accommodation to be had here, particularly at the two principal tea-houses, one at the sign of the Rose at the entrance to the place, and the other a little further on, kept by Mrs Darby. (Dublin Guide - Lewis - 1787)