The origins of Monkstown are unsurprisingly ecclesiastical. A church was built at Carrickbrennan (as Monkstown was then known) before the 8th century, and dedicated to Saint Mochonna. A grange belonging to the monks was established near the monastery and the village grew up around it.
Until about 1800, Monkstown was a rural area of open countryside, dotted here and there with large houses owned by the merchants of Dublin. The building of the harbour at Dún Laoghaire brought trade to the area, but the arrival of the railway in 1837 was the real game-changer, giving rise to the construction of fashionable terraces, first at Montpelier Parade, then Longford Terrace, and then The Crescent and the various roads along the northern side of Monkstown Road. Today the mews of many of these great houses serve as chi-chi restaurants and boutiques in the village centre.
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