Hellfire Club History

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

Montpelier House

Domville Handcock’s description of the quarrying of the cut stone from the Hunting Lodge to use in Lord Ely’s Montpelier House is also consistent in a number of later accounts:

‘The hall door was reached by a lofty flight of steps, which with most of the other cut stone work, was used in the building of Mount Pelier House lower down the hill.’ (12).

‘Most of the hunting lodge, referred to in the text (which belonged to the Right Hon. William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons), was removed in 1763 by Lord Ely of Rathfarnham to build himself a shooting lodge farther down the hill.’ (13)

and in another account from 1960:

‘Lower down the hill are the ruins of “Mount Pelier House” or, “Dollymount”, which was built as a hunting lodge by Lord Ely in 1771. The house was of two stories and over the hall door were carved in stone the Ely arms, surmounted by a coronet. At each end of the house was a large arched gateway, from which extended a wing containing servant’s quarters, stables etc., terminating in a square embattled tower. All the granite window sills and doorsteps from the building on the top of the hill were utilised in the construction of the house.’ (14).

Montpelier House Hellfire Club

Historic Photograph of Mountpelier House, Patrick Healy Collection

The Burning of the Hellfire Club

Montpelier House Hellfire Club

Historic Photograph of Mountpelier House, Patrick Healy Collection

Another common theme that relates to the present appearance of the Hellfire Club describes that it was badly burned, and almost wholly destroyed, when a number of tar-barrels were lit on the roof as a beacon to welcome Queen Victoria as she arrived in to Dublin Bay in 1849 (15).

Montpelier Hill and its tomb and Hunting Lodge are also described in 1912 by Weston St.John Joyce who wrote:

‘Making our way over the gorse and heather up the slopes of the hill from Mount Pelier House, we at length come into view of the old ruin on the top – an interesting and conspicuous object from afar, but proving a most unprepossessing structure on closer acquaintance…’ (16)