Doh-Ray-Mee

‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages, Raheny, Dublin.

‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages, Raheny, Dublin.

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.

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10 thoughts on “Doh-Ray-Mee

  1. Nothing that old anywhere around here. Pretty cool! The nearest town to us dates back to the 1830s but I don’t think there is anything left from that period.

    • Raheny is situated on the coast of County Dublin, about 8 km from Dublin city centre and 7 km from Dublin Airport and is referenced back to 570 AD. Dick’s Charity School building still stands and is used as a restaurant these days.

    • Al, I didn’t have an opportunity to knock on any doors since I had someone waiting for me in a car near by. I would have loved the time and opportunity to see one of those cottages from the inside.

    • Brighid, I have passed them many times in the past fifty years and kinda took them for granted. It was only when I read about them, that I saw them with new eyes!

  2. I lived near there when I lived in Dub in the sixties. I remember thinking I’d love to see inside them. They reminded me so much of the little cottage my paternal grandparents lived in on the estate of the local Lord.
    XO
    WWW

    • Our paths must have crossed back then. I had an uncle and aunt living in Raheny from the early sixties! My aunt still lives nearby.

  3. Fascinating. Pune’s historic buildings are almost all located in what are called Peths here. They go back to the 17th and 18th Century and have some heritage buildings which have been maintained well but those where the rents have remained static keep collapsing now and then. Nothing like these however exist. Vastly different urban/rural configurations between the two countries.

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