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neighbourhood guide

Your guide to Terenure: Victorian grandeur around a proper old village centre

And birthplace of James Joyce’s ma.

Your Neighbourhood is a series of local area guides from, presented by KBC. We’re bringing you the best of city neighbourhoods combined with the latest property data.

THE NAME ‘TERENURE’ comes from the Irish Tír an Iúir, meaning ‘land of the yew tree’. And for most of Dublin’s history, this neighbourhood was a country estate, owned by a succession of wealthy landowners. Bushy Park is the remainder of that estate today.

But in 1801, a road was built heading southwest from Rathgar, which crossed the road leading south from Harold’s Cross. At the crossroads, a tiny village began to develop (it was initially called Roundtown) and this became the commercial cluster at Terenure Cross. 

By the end of the 19th century, large scale construction was under way in Terenure, and most of the grander homes date from this time and the early 1900s. It remained on the fringe of the city – the terminus of a tram line – until the 1930s, when Dublin expanded around and beyond it. 

Today, Terenure is a largely affluent area, although it shades into the more affordable Kimmage and Perrystown at the north and west end. It’s bordered to the south and east by Templeogue, Rathfarnham and Rathgar.

Take me there! Alright so. Here you are at the crossroads in Terenure, facing Vaughan’s. (Terenure Cross is also known as Vaughan’s Corner.)

So what’s the big draw? Terenure is classic redbrick south Dublin: Victorian homes, leafy streets, and generally well-kempt. It has a proper village centre with pubs, restaurants, and some independent shops. And it’s well supplied with schools, sports facilities and all the amenities you’d expect. It even has a Lidl AND and Aldi. 

What do people love about it? It has a village feel – both in amenities and community, says Genna Patterson. 

I like the village feel, and the lovely architecture, plus excellent Bushy Park and friendly community. 

It’s a lively place with plenty of street life, says Claire Costelloe.

I like how close it is to the city centre, but that it is also a suburb. Access to a lovely park with a pond and ducks and tennis courts, and lots of restaurants and pubs and places to eat and drink – and that’s always evolving.

And… what do people NOT love about it? Traffic, says Genna.

I didn’t like the traffic at the crossroads in the centre, and the lack of Dublin bike stations. Limited to bus or driving.

No decent coffee shop, says Claire… but that’s been fixed!

I didn’t like the fact that until recently, we didn’t have a good quality coffee shop. It was mainly pubs and places for dinner. Now we have Foam which does amazing coffee. 

What’s the story with house prices? Eh, pretty steep. The average asking price for a home in Terenure is €601,177 – on a par with Donnybrook. It’s a tad more expensive than its neighbour Templeogue, and a good way more than Rathmines or Harold’s Cross.

How long will it take me to the city centre? It’s just under an hour’s brisk walk into town. On the bus, it will take you around half an hour – the 15/a/b/d, 16, 49 and 65 all pass through.

In the car, it’s more like 20 minutes outside peak times. Cycling will get you there just as fast.

Where should I get lunch? Try the aforementioned Foam Coffeehouse, which as well as coffee serves excellent salads and sandwiches.

Alternatives: You could have a look at the Lovely Food Co, which also does a strong line in sandwiches and salads. Or for something sweet, swing by the Corner Bakery. New restaurant Circa is attracting the critics’ attention too. 

And what’s my new local? Have a look into Vaughan’s, the pub on the corner of the crossroads. Reliable pints and the food gets decent reviews too. 

Alternatives: Brady’s is Vaughan’s main rival, another sizeable pub with a food offering. 

Schools and supermarkets? There’s an Aldi and a Lidl at the crossroads, with a Tesco Metro a bit further up the road into town. Close by in Rathgar is a SuperValu. There’s also a weekly farmers market in Bushy Park.

There are seven primary schools nearby: Presentation (Catholic, girls, 589 pupils); St Joseph’s (Catholic, boys, 453 pupils); Pius X Girls and Boys (Catholic, 528 and 535 pupils); Gaelscoil Mologa (Catholic, mixed, 228 pupils); Harold’s Cross NS (Catholic, mixed, 231 pupils); and Rathgar NS (Methodist, mixed, 99 pupils).

There are five post-primary schools: Presentation Community College (Catholic, mixed, 327 pupils); Terenure College (Catholic, boys, 695 pupils); Our Lady’s (Catholic, girls, 768 pupils); The High School (Church of Ireland, mixed, 717 pupils); and Stratford College (Jewish, mixed, 154 pupils). 

OK, I’m sold. Give me one piece of Terenure trivia to impress a local. James Joyce’s mam was born in the local pub. Mary Jane Murray, known as May, came into the world at Vaughan’s Eagle House in 1859. She was (obviously) a major influence on young James. For a full account of her short and in many ways unhappy life, read on here

Do you live in Terenure? Share your opinion in the comments!

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