KINGSTOWN, a seaport town, and the royal mail packet station of the metropolis, in the parish of Monkstown, Rathdown barony, Dublin county, seven miles E.S.E. from the General Post Office, Dublin, comprising an area of 387 acres. Population, 7,229.
The town is situated on the south shore of Dublin bay, and derives its name from King George IV., who embarked here 3rd Sept. 1821, when the harbour was also called the "Royal Harbour of George IV.," as is inscribed on a handsome granite obelisk, surmounted by a crown, near the wharf, erected by the harbour commissioners to commemorate the occasion. Prior to that period the name was Dunleary, and a few years preceding it was a mere fishing village and collier haven, until the attention of Government was called to its admirable situation, and an Act passed in 1815 for "the erection of an asylum harbour and place of refuge at Dunleary," which was brought into operation in 1817, and during the progress and since the completion of that great undertaking, the town has arisen and become an extensive and well-frequented, if not a fashionable, watering place.
It consists of several streets, the principal of which is George's- street, extending upwards of half a mile in length. besides upwards of seventy avenues, terraces, and parades, the principal of which are Gresham and Haddington terraces. The public buildings are, a Free Church, an Episcopal Mariners' Church, the Roman Catholic Chapel, a large and handsome edifice, Presbyterian and Quaker Meeting Houses, and a Methodist Chapel. The Kingstown railway terminus buildings, and the atmospheric railway tunnel, front the harbour. There is a Petty Sessions' Court-house, Metropolitan Police and Coast Guard Stations, a Savings' Bank, and National and other schools. There are several hotels, the principal of which are "The Gresham." and "The Anglesey Arms." Commodious Baths have been erected by the railway company.
The total number of houses in the town is 1,049, most of which are low and irregularly built, but those in the terraces before-named, and others fronting the harbour, are elegant and costly buildings. The town is in part paved, or Macadamized, and lighted with gas, under the provisions of Act 4 and 5 Wm. IV., vested in a board of eighteen commissioners, twelve of whom are chosen on the first Tuesday in September every Year, by the Majority of' rate-payers. Any five commissioners can constitute a board. The qualification of a commissioner, if resident within the town is occupation of a house worth £20 per annum; if not resident, an annual property of at least, £70 arising out of the town. The tax levied in at the rate of 6d, in the pound sterling on the value of all houses and lands within the town limits, by annual valuation and applotment of two sworn applotters appointed by the commissioners.
The Savings' bank for Kingstown and Blackrock established in 1819 had 646 depositors, in Nov. 1845; total amount deposited £16,338, averaging £25 5s. 10d. for each depositor, at a rate of £2 18s. 4d. per cent. The Royal Harbour, from which the town may be said to date its origin, was commenced in 1816, from designs of the late Mr. Rennie, by direction of the Lords of the Admiralty, at an estimate of £801,115, and on which to May 1846, £652,367 have been granted by Parliament, with a further grant of £12,500 for the current year, leaving £136,292 in future years to meet the estimate for its completion, and to which it is rapidly advancing. A stupendous mass of granite rocks and rubble stone, drawn from the hills of Dalkey and Killiney, was used; and, on an average, 600 men, with machinery, were for years employed in its construction. The eastern pier is 3,500 feet in length; and the western, 4,950 feet from the shore-leaving at the mouth an open of 850 feet: the whole forming an area of 250 acres, varying in depth from 15 to 17 feet. The quay along the piers is 40 feet wide, protected from the sea by a parapet, nine feet high. On the quay, along the breast of the harbour, is a wharf feet in length, where vessels of all draught. may load and unload at any state of the tide. On the extremity of the east pier is a bright revolving fight, which may be seen, every half minute, nine miles at sea, in clear weather. Captain Beechey, R.N. in a report made to the Admiralty in 1846, and given in the Appendix to the Tidal Harbours Commission, p. 241 describes the harbour in point of size "One of' the most splendid artificial ports in the United Kingdom," but owing to the width and erroneous position of its entrance, the anchorage is so exposed, that vessels in easterly gales cannot hold on, and that it is a harbour that has disappointed expectation. The income of the port, in 1843, amounted to £3,621, derived chiefly from tonnage and ballast dues, anchorage, and slippage, and a toll on steamers. The expenditure for the same period was £9,328, the excess over the income being provided for by Parliamentary grant, and of which £6,316 was laid out in the erection of a commercial wharf wall, and repair of the piers. The number of vessels that entered the harbour during the year 1845, was 2,214, of the aggregate burden of 229,433 tons, exclusive of men-of-war, cruisers, and mail-packets; and of which, 1,117 were vessels trading to or from the port of Dublin, waiting for wind or tide. The number of royal mail steam packets on the station is eight; four to and from Holyhead, and four to and from Birkenhead. Those for Holyhead sail alternately every morning at nine o'clock, with the mail and Government despatches; and those for Birkenhead every morning at seven o'clock, with the London mail and passengers, arriving at Liverpool in time for the last train same evening for London. In addition to these, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company have three splendid vessels on the station, each 600 tons burden and 280 horse-power, which sail alternately every evening at half-past six o'clock, with passengers and her Majesty's mails, returning the following evening at seven o'clock. The chief exports of the port are, cattle, grain, lead ore, and granite; and the imports, coal, iron, and timber.
The Kingstown and Dublin railway, to which the place owes much of its importance, opened for traffic 17th Dec., 1834, since which, upwards of fifteen millions of passengers have been conveyed along it. The line (extending six miles, from Westland-row, Dublin, to the New Wharf, Kingstown harbour) was constructed at an expense of £340,000, raised by £2000,000 shares, and £ 140,000 loans. The affairs of the company are managed by a court of directors annually elected in March. The Atmospheric Railway, at first an experiment, and the first of the kind laid down, is now two years in operation. It connects Kingstown with Dalkey, a distance of one and three-quarter miles. It consists of a single train of six carriages, uniformly travelling at a rate of forty miles per hour. The intercourse with the metropolis, by the locomotive carriages, is every half hour, from six, A.m., until half-past eleven, P.m., stopping at the respective stations; with an extra train every day at three-quarters past four, P. M. stopping at Merrion only. Fares-first class, 1s. ; second class, 8d.; and third class, 6d. The mail bags are conveyed by the half past eight a.m. train by Holyhead, and five and ten P.M. trains by Liverpool.
The scenery of the whole of the district around Kingstown is very interesting, and numerous detached villas are in every, direction in course of erection, particularly in and about the undermentioned places, each of which have a separate area and population in the Census returns, as follows:--Bullock, an area of 25 acres, population 872, inhabiting 177 houses; Glasthule, 66 acres, population 849, and 151 houses ; and Honeypark, 16 acres, population 351, inhabiting 71 houses.
The mail from Dublin arrives at 30 minutes past 8 o'clock, A.M., at 1, at 30 minutes past 6 and at 8, P.m. ; and is despatched at 30 minutes past 6 and 11, A.M., and at 3, and at 30 minutes past 5 o'clock, P.m. The Post Office grant and pay money orders.