'Black Lion Inn', now Blacklion house, Veterinary Practice
Image by C. Love
OS map showing Blacklion in c1838
OS maps -
OS map c1912 showing area known as Blacklion
)S map from website


It appears that Blacklion gets its name from a coastal road connecting Bray to Wicklow, built by Gaelic chieftains prior to the Norman invasion, called ‘Bealach Laighan’ (Leinster pathway). This route was afterwards used by the Normans as a military road. The area was originally spelt Black Lyon.

The area known as Blacklion was located along the main coach road from Dublin to Wexford and included the original coastguard station,  the first RC church in the area called St Killians Church, a blacksmiths close to the church, a coaching Inn and site of the first St Bridgids School.

Coastguard Station

The first Coast Guard station in the area was came in 1821 and was located just opposite Blacklion House which flanking the entrance to Applewood Housing estate. The coastguard station had sweeping view of the coastline. The first chief officer was Thomas Lamb Wood, who took up duty on the first of February 1821. There was two boats at the station a two masted galley and a four oared gig.

Old Schoolhouse Blacklion Greystones

One of Greystones first schools was a state funded school and was started in 1846 in Blacklion, opposite Church Lane, which was originally named Blacklion Road. In 1852 the school at Blacklion, in the parish of Delgany had 69 male pupils and 21 female pupils and the school was closed a portion of the year. The school had 1 male teacher.  The school was later run by the Sisters of the Holy Faith. In 1917 the school was run as a boys only school and in 1941 the Christian brothers took over the running of the school. In 1950 a new larger school was opened on Rathdown Road.

In 1951 this old school house at Blacklion was offered for sale per instruction of Messrs Ed Granger and George Charris, joint owners. The property was advertised as a single storey building of 2 apartments, floor area was 1500 sq ft and was built of stout masonry, and roofed with slates and wood annex adjoining, all in an enclosed yard and situated on the roadside.

Blacklion House

Blacklion is reputed to be one of the oldest houses that survives in Greystones. It was originally been an old coaching in in the mid 18th century. The Inn at Blacklion  was recorded in  1775 in the Hibernian Magazine when, in Bray a women was being attacked by several men at Kilruddery walls, luckily a local man came to her aid and the men fled. The police were called and they were caught and brought to Bray and sentenced to Jail in Wicklow by Justice Hoey, on their way to Wicklow Jail, “they stopped at the Black Lyon Inn, where their conductors treated with the villains, and just as they had agreed on taking six guineas to let them escape, Mr. Bunn of Kindalstown came in, and breaking up the conference, had them properly secured and lodged in Wicklow Jail”.

In the 1860’s then spelt Blacklyon House was occupied by William Beere Fox, who farmed the land around the house. He was married to Mary Anne nee Read, the sister of Mathew Caldwell Read who died in 1867. William was the son of Thomas, and Mary Anne was daughter of Mathew Lacken Read and were married in 1848. William moved to Lake Park in Roundwood Co Wicklow and died in 1884. He was a JP. In 1867 the hay yard at Blacklyon House was totally consumed by fire, in it was hay and corn. But the house was saved due to the good work of the coastguard, where Lt Harris RN and his men pulled down an out building, thus saving the house.
By 1880 Blacklion was the home of Mrs. Emma Tullock and here son John A T Tullock. Emma left Ireland and Blacklion in 1881. In 1887 Edward Ellice Davidson resided at Blacklion House, he was Sub Sheriff of Co Wicklow. He was the father of noticed artist Lillian Davidson. Who in 1887 would have been about 8 years of age. In 1901 Edward Ernest Knox rented Blacklion for the summer period, Edward was a Coal Engineer. By 1917 Mrs. G Campbell was running a boarding house at Blacklion House. After Mrs. Campbell the house changed ownership several time, until it became a veterinary surgery, which it still is today.

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