The Groody turnpike

The River Groody flows into the Shannon downstream of Plassey, where the University of Limerick is located.

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Groody and Plassey (OSI ~1840)

The river itself may be hard to see, but the green wriggly line follows the course of the Groody except just north of Groody Bridge, where the river takes a more direct course towards the Shannon.

The road crossing Groody Bridge was the main road from Dublin to Limerick and the route followed by the mail-coaches. And, just to the west of the bridge, the 6″ Ordnance Survey map (of about 1840) shows a Turnpike, presumably controlling access to the road to Dublin. The road between Naas and Limerick, in other words most of the way to Dublin, was controlled by the Bourne family, who also ran the Dublin to Limerick mail coaches (which were amongst the few in Ireland to achieve an average of eight miles an hour).

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Groody bridge and turnpike (OSI ~1840)

I met a man who told me that his family owned this building, which is opposite the Aldi shop on the Dublin Road, Limerick.

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The building 1

It had been a shop at some stage and had had an extra window inserted, but he said it was originally a toll cottage. I don’t think it was for collecting the Limerick tolls [I don’t know where they were collected on the “Groody approach”, but I suspect it may have been near Pennywell]; I think it was for collecting the turnpike charges. Its position seems to match that of the turnpike building shown on the map.

However, I haven’t been able to find evidence on the matter one way or the other. I can’t find the building on the Griffith Valuation, perhaps because its value was too low to be recorded. And the Land Registry’s information doesn’t go back beyond 1982.

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The building 2

I would therefore be grateful to anyone who can provide evidence on whether this building was the turnpike cottage for the road to Naas.

My OSI logo and permit number for website

 

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