This infamous building was built in 1725 by William ‘Speaker’ Conolly as a hunting lodge for his Rathfarnham estate. It was originally known as ‘Mount Pelier House’ and has spectacular views over the entire City of Dublin. It was probably designed by Edward Lovett Pearce who was regarded as one of the most important Palladian architects in the country. Connolly was reputed to have used stones from a nearby neolithic passage tomb during it’s construction. The ‘locals’ were of course superstitious and warned Conolly that ‘no luck would come to the building’. Soon after it’s completion an enormous storm blew off the roof and this was attributed to the devils work. Conolly, it seems, wasn’t really bothered and replaced it with the heavy stone slab roof that can still be seen today (he however died soon after in 1729!). A few years later,in 1735, Richard Parsons bought this building for the Dublin base for ‘The Hellfire Club’. The president of this crazy establishment was named ‘The King of Hell’ and dressed like Satan, with horns, wings and cloven hooves. One custom to leave the vice-chair unoccupied for the devil – in whose honor the first toast was always drunk. These clubs became associated with wild drunken excessive parties (where the devil reputedly appeared on numerous occasions – hooves in all!) The building has since been stripped of it’s fine features, and has been vandalized on a number of occasions including the time, when the roof was covered in tar and set alight as a demonstration against the arrival of Queen Victoria in Dublin in 1849.

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