The ‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages in Raheny, were built around 1790 by Samuel Dick. He was a very successful Linen Merchant, who lived in Violet Hill, which later became known as Edenmore House and is known today as St. Joseph’s Hospital. He built the cottages for men who worked on his estate.
Samuel Dick was a director of Bank of Ireland and he held the top job as Governor from 1797 to 1799. He was also a director of the Hibernian Insurance Company and was a trustee of the Malahide Turnpike Road, which controlled the repairing of the Malahide, Howth and Clontarf Roads.
They are called ‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages because there are eight cottages all together, just as there are eight notes on the musical scale. Their other name is ‘crescent cottages’ because they are built in a semi-circle. They are among the oldest buildings in Raheny.
Samuel Dick also built a school on Main Street beside the old graveyard of St Assam’s. It became known as ‘Dick’s Charity School’ because it was intended for ‘poor children of all persuasions’.
When Samuel Dick died in 1802, he left the Crescent Cottages in Raheny village to the people who looked after the school, so that the rent from Crescent Cottages could be used to pay the salary of the school’s teacher. At that time the government did not pay teachers or fund schools.
Over time the cottages fell into disrepair and by 1879 were in such a poor state that Lord Ardilaun, the owner of St Anne’s estate, paid £375 to improve them all.
The cottage closest to the Station House pub was once the village post office. The cottages have remained almost unchanged since they were built in the eighteenth century and people still live in them today.