Forgotten Fires at Maynooth

I’m taking the liberty of reblogging this fascinating bit of local Maynooth history. I did know about the 1878 fire on South Campus, having read about it here, but for some reason I had imagined it happened elsewhere in the College. St Mary’s Square, which was designed by Augustus Pugin,  is actually behind St Patrick’s House as you look at it from the larger St Joseph’s Square.


The college chapel was not completed until 1891 so can’t be seen on the picture of the aftermath of the fire shown in the blog post; the spire wasn’t built until 1895. St Mary’s is part of the national seminary, as opposed to Maynooth University.

New House, site of the later fire in  1940 , forms the North side of the quadrangle enclosing St Joseph’s Square which is to your right as you look towards St Patrick’s House. It is home to the Law Department of Maynooth University.

MU Library Treasures

by Sarah Larkin, Archivist, St Patrick’s College Maynooth

Dublin fire brigade attending the fire at New House, 29 March 1940.

This yearSt Patrick’s College, Maynooth celebrates 225years since its foundation in 1795. This blog post is the second in a series highlighting some of the interesting and lesser known events and facts of the College’s history. This postlooks attwo occasions when fire broke out in the College, and how tragedy was avoided.

On 1 November 1878, at 8am in the morning, fire broke out in St Mary’s inMaynooth College. The College fire engine proved to be inadequate. An attempt to summon help from the Dublin fire brigade failed, as the local telegraph failed to work and a message had to be sent from Celbridge. A special train was immediately laid on in Dublin to bring the fire engine to Maynooth. It was thendrawn to the College…

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