Séipéal Iosóid
Suburb of Dublin

Chapelizod Village

Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 53°20′49″N 6°20′42″W / 53.347°N 6.345°W / 53.347; -6.345Coordinates: 53°20′49″N 6°20′42″W / 53.347°N 6.345°W / 53.347; -6.345
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County Dublin City
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
  Urban 3,031
Irish Grid Reference O236249
Chapelizod c.1900

Chapelizod (Irish: Séipéal Iosóid, meaning "Iseult's Chapel") is a village preserved within the city of Dublin, Ireland. It lies in the wooded valley of the River Liffey, near the Strawberry Beds and the Phoenix Park. The village is associated with Iseult of Ireland and the location of Iseult's chapel. Chapelizod is under the administration of Dublin City Council. Chapelizod is also a parish in the Blanchardstown deanery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.

Location and access

The civil parish of Chapelizod is part of the barony of Castleknock. The barony is one of seven and a half baronies that comprised the traditional county of Dublin. The parish stretches from Cabra to Blanchardstown (from east to west) and from Finglas to Chapelizod (from north to south).[2]


The origins of Chapelizod are at once old but obscure. There is evidence of Neolithic settlement between the southern ridge of the Phoenix Park and the Liffey and several burial mounds exist to the north of the village. Aerial photography has also revealed several prehistoric and early medieval settlements in the vicinity of the modern village. Aside from these archeological remains, the etymology of the village indicates an association with Princess Iseult/Isolde from the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Isolde - indeed, the village derives its name from a chapel consecrated in her honour.

Outside the archeological and mythical record, the historical record more firmly details the establishment of a manor by Hugh Tyrell after the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169. In 1177 Tyrell, Baron of Castleknock, granted lands at Kilmainham to the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers). The grant included a portion of the land that now makes up the Phoenix Park and Chapelizod. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the lands reverted to the Crown and from that time onward were used as a Royal seat. This was made explicit by the Duke of Ormonde after he successfully lobbied for the creation of an enclosed deer park outside Dublin in 1662. The 'King's House', a Royal Residence built by and used as an out of town residence by the Viceroy, formerly faced the millrace on the banks of the Liffey. It was used as the royal residence in Ireland until the mid-eighteenth century, when the Viceregal Lodge was completed in the Phoenix Park.

In 1671, Colonel Richard Lawrence settled a number of Hugenots in the village with the intention of establishing a linen industry (with some success). Later, King William stayed during the Williamite Wars in Ireland (Irish: Cogadh an Dá Rí), holding court and redressing grievances.

Like today, for much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Chapelizod was a prosperous village with a rural atmosphere close to the centre of Dublin.

Ecclesiastical history

In the 19th century, the Roman Catholic parish of Blanchardstown encompassed much of the area now within the Dublin 15 postal district. Following the relaxation of the Penal Laws, it became possible for the Catholic adherents to consider the construction of additional churches and to repair the existing stock of religious buildings. St Brigid's Church Blanchardstown, not to be confused with a church of the Church of Ireland in nearby Castleknock, was constructed in 1837 upon the foundation of a church that had been built prior to 1731. It is the Mother church of 12 other churches constituted out of the parish over the following 156 years.[3] Among these was the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The parish separated from Blanchardstown 1883. The eastern part of the new parish was in turn constituted out of Chapelizod in 1953 as the Navan Road parish of Our Lady Help of Christians.[4]


In local government elections Chapelizod is part of the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Ward. Since the last local elections in 2014, the local elected representatives on Dublin City Council are:

In the Church of Ireland, the church of St Laurence, with its 14th-century bell tower, is one of two churches that today form part of the parish of Crumlin.[5]

Notable residents


Interesting buildings in the village include the church of St Laurence (Church of Ireland) with its medieval bell tower. The fine Georgian house where Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu wrote stands at the corner of Park Lane facing Main Street in front of the church. The renovated old RIC barracks on Main Street predates the old Constabulary, serving as an army barracks from the reign of William and Mary.

Chapelizod Community Festival is held annually between the 1st and 2nd Sundays in July. First held in 1994, the festival has grown to be one of the highlights of the summer here. The festival is run by volunteers and funded mainly by local business sponsors.

The village is the setting of Le Fanu's novel The House by the Churchyard and of James Joyce's short story "A Painful Case" in Dubliners. It is the setting—as well as the scene of the home and hostelry of the protagonist Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle, and their family Shaun, Shem and Issy—in Joyce's final major work, Finnegans Wake.

See also


  1. "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-19. Total represents the sum of the populations of the Cabinteely-Granitefield, Cabinteely-Kilbogget, Cabinteely-Loughlinstown and Cabinteely-Pottery districts
  2. Note - Townlands in the Barony of Castleknock: Baile an Aba/Abbotstown, Baile an Ásaigh/Ashtown, Baile an Chairpintéaraigh/Carpenterstown, Baile an Déanaigh/Deanestown, Baile an Diosualaigh/Diswellstown, Baile an Huntaigh/Huntstown, Baile an Phóirtéaraigh/Porterstown, Baile Bhlainséir/Blanchardstown, Baile Mhistéil/Mitchelstown, Baile Pheiléid/Pelletstown, Baile Scriobail/Scribblestown, Baile Sheáin/Johnstown, An Chabrach/Cabra(gh), Caisleán Cnucha/Castleknock (incl. part of Phoenix Park), Ceapach/Cappoge or Cappagh, Cnoc na gCaorach/Sheephill, An Chorr Dhubh/Corduff, Dún Sinche/Dunsink, Páirc Anna/Annfield, Snugborough/Snugborough, Steach Gob/Astagob - Placenames Database of Ireland Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. Cronin, Elizabeth, Fr Michael Dundan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968, Four Courts Press (2002), p56.
  4. Official website of Our Lady Help of Christians
  5. Church of Ireland - Crumlin parish.
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