Hellfire Club History

Hellfire Club History2018-06-29T23:25:27+00:00

Hellfire Club Description by Alice Furlong, 1895

Early photo of the Hellfire Club

Historic image of the Hellfire Club and photographer. Thought to be late nineteenth / early twentieth century. Tallaght Historical Society Collection

Montpelier Hill and the Hunting Lodge were described in 1895 by Alice Furlong.  The account is particularly notable for the alternative name she provides for the hill:

‘Right away in front of me like a barrier across the vanishing point of the road was the cultivated slope of Cornaun (Anglice, “the little bowl-shaped hill”), familiarly and indifferently known as Mount Pelia, Mont Pelier, and Mount Pelion. Seen from here, it is a shapeless block of a mountain, ungainly in configuration, but beloved of me for that I have known it all my life, and interesting to strangers for the Castle of a bygone Marquis of Ely, half-way up the slope; and an ugly, cumbersome edifice which crowns the summit and faces north-east: commanding a view of Dublin Bay and Howth, and the undulating plain of Leinster even to the feet of the Mourne mountains, these last undiscernable save on the bluest and clearest of days. The house is supposed to have been the rendezvous of the famous Hell-Fire Club, and is built entirely of stone, with a strong arched roof and mighty buttresses right and left. I have heard that a sportman [sic] erected it for a shooting lodge, but his satanic majesty taking some objection to the plan, undid the ordinary roofing nightly, I opine by impressing the winds – whose strength and vigour up there I can vouch for – into his service. Anyhow he was outwitted by the architect who raised a stone roof, which withstood, and for the most part withstands, his whirlwinds and tempests that raved and threatened in vain.’ (7).