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History of Monkstown Wood

The site, once seven large agricultural fields, was leased by the Housing Executive in late 1999 to the Woodland Trust for a period of 999 years.

The fields were grazed until spring 2000, and after acquisition by the Trust, were planted with 8,000 trees in 5ha (12.3 acres) of the site between 2000 and 2004.

Exploring to the east you’ll find remnants of a farm, water mill and mill race among the vegetation. The buildings have long since been knocked down and the race filled in and grown over, but you can still see the eastern boundary it formed, while old metal pipes surface at the river’s weir.


According to tradition, in the fifth century, Fergus Mor – king of the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada – left his home in north Antrim and colonised Argyll and Kintyre. He became the first king of Scottish Dalriada, uniting Scotland and Ireland. It is often said he was the fabled founder of Scotland.

He died while on his way back to visit his lands in Ireland, and is reputed to be buried at Monk

Origin of name

Monkstown was originally called Ballynamanagh, from the Irish Baile na Manach, meaning ‘townland of the monks’.