Council acquires Glendruid House and lands in south Dublin

Moves on two sites expected to add to the protection of 5,500-year-old Glendruid Dolmen

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has acquired Glendruid House adjacent to the 5,500-year-old Glendruid Dolmen near Cabinteely in south Co Dublin.

The house comes with 7.78 hectares which the council intends to use for the development of social and affordable housing. Glendruid House is a protected structure and is expected to be restored.

The council has also said it has reached a “sale agreed” position on the purchase of a further 4 hectares on a an adjacent site. This site is believed to be the south side of the Carrickmines river which also borders the Glendruid House site.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it would use the lands for housing, including social and affordable homes, but also for part of the proposed Cherrywood Green Routes Network and a riverside walkway from where visitors may observe the dolmen from a distance of about 30m.


During the Neolithic period portals like the Glendruid Dolmen served as burial sites. The Glendruid Dolmen is 11ft tall and its capstone weighs approximately 45 tonnes. The capstone is supported by two portal stones at the front, two large side slabs, and a back stone at the rear. It is located on private land close to the sites acquired by the council, and as a national monument is in the guardianship of the OPW.

The Glendruid site, known as Lot 1, includes the Georgian Glendruid House, a protected structure and part of the Glendruid Valley.

The council said it has also achieved a “sale agreed” position on the purchase of the second site on the southside of the river, which is part of the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone.

In a statement to The Irish Times the council said: “The delivery of the woodland path as part of the Cherrywood Green Routes Network will, when built, enable public access to approx 20-30m of the dolmen with the Carrickmines river intervening. The proposed woodland path, situated south of the dolmen on the southern side of the river, will enable visual access to the dolmen.”

In relation to the housing element of the plan the council said: “” We are currently at sale agreed stage on land adjacent within the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), that will facilitate further homes, the delivery of part of the Cherrywood Green Routes Network, to include a woodland path along the Druid’s Glen area, and part of the Druid’s Glen Road to include a sensitively designed bridge feature.

News of the acquisition of the lands has been welcomed by councillors and campaign group the Glendruid Valley Group.

Local independent councillor Hugh Lewis, who has championed the case for public ownership at council level over several years, welcomed the council announcement. He said the acquisition was “a highly positive step for both the advancement of future social and affordable housing and for the protection of the Glendruid Dolmen”.

“As result of these lands now being in public ownership the potential for development and protection now rests with the democratic control of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. It is a huge leap forward for the safeguarding of our heritage and the delivery of desperately needed housing,” he said.

The Glendruid Valley Group, while also welcoming the news, said it would like more detail on the boundaries of the second site which was “sale agreed”. Dennis Madden of the Glendruid Valley Group said more detail on a proposed new bridge across the river was also needed.

The Glendruid Valley Group noted the involvement of councillors Lewis and Barry Saul.

Mr Saul told The Irish Times the acquisition would “aid in the protection of access to the Glenduid Dolmen. Also the restoration of Glendruid House will be the responsibility of Dlrcoco instead of a private landowner.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist