[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=240 float=right]Celbridge Abbey 53°20′10″N 6°32′34″W was constructed by Thomas Marlay (1691–1756) who was Attorney-General for Ireland, a judge and grandfather of the Irish parliamentarian Henry Grattan. Marlay’s rock bridge in Celbridge Abbey grounds is the oldest surviving bridge across the Liffey since the removal of John Le Decer’s 1308 bridge three miles downriver at Salmon Leap.
A previous structure was the home of Bartholomew Van Homrigh, a commissary-general to William III’s army who became Lord Mayor of Dublin. It was the childhood (1688–1707) and later adult (1714–23) home of Bartholomew Van Homrigh’s daughter Esther (1688–1723), the lover of Jonathan Swift who visited her in Celbridge in 1720. She is associated with the name Vanessa as a result of Swift’s 1713 poem “Cadenus and Vanessa.”
It was later home to Gerald Dease (1831–1903), Chamberlain (Secretary) to successive Lords Lieutenant, who help to fund the construction of the local Catholic Church, in front of which a prominently placed Celtic Cross bears his name.