Esker House

Esker was one of the four ancient Royal Manors of Dublin, which constituted the ancient demesne of the English Crown: the others were Newcastle Lyons, Saggart or Tassagard, and Crumlin. The revenues of these were sometimes given towards the defence of the Pale "against the Irish Enemie". In the thirteenth century there was a manor house close to the Church of Esker. In 1229 King Henry conveyed two acres of his lands at Esker, called Liscayllagh or Liscaillah, located near the church, to William Fitz Guido, Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and his successors under the title of Canons of Esker.

In 1248 some land was granted to Peter De Birmingham, and his descendants held it for the next hundred years or so. Between 1248 and 1547 lands in Esker were leased to various tenants directly from the Crown. Such names included Roger D'Arcy, Reginald Fitz Maurice, Geoffrey de Vale and John Travers. The lands were then subjected to further leasing and sub-leasing. The manor was managed by a seneschal or steward, someone well regarded by the Crown, one notable example in 1594 in the time of Queen Elizabeth I being Sir William Sarsfield, Knight. This manorial system appears to have continued up into the eighteenth century.

The present-day Esker House, located in the townland of Esker South and in the private ownership of the Saer family, was converted to its Georgian style in the 1700's, at which time the chimneys were added. A wing was also added in 1735. Before the conversion it is thought that this house was three storeys high and that it may even date back as far as medieval times. It is also thought that the medieval manorial court may have been held here. The footprint of the house is visible on Rocque, 1762, and Duncan, 1821 and it is clearly labelled on Griffith's, 1852. The occupant at that time was William Francis Clarke Esq.

For a number of years in the nineteenth century this Esker House was called Esker Hall. The present owner ran the property as a thoroughbred stud farm until Dublin County Council acquired most of his land via a Compulsory Purchase Order in the 1970's. Part of the land was incorporated into the Griffeen Valley Park and other land was used for Lucan By-pass, the development of St. Finian's housing estate, St. Patrick's Church and St. Anne's School and St. Thomas' school. There are still some fine stone outbuildings and stables attached to the house.

previousPrevious - Lucan
Next - Lucan House & Spanext