The Hellfire Club, Dublin Mountains
We decided on Saturday last to take a short drive out of the city and head up to the Dublin Mountains. We brought Charlie our dog along for the ride and so we could walk the four little legs off him. A tired dog is a happy dog or so they say. It’s funny that from wherever you live in Dublin you can get in your car, jump on a bus or hop on the train and within minutes be at the beach or in our case up the mountains. I love walking in the Dublin Mountains, there are plenty of walking trails and plenty of shortcuts through the woodlands. I know for Charlie no matter how many times we might take the trip, it’s like an adventure to him and to be honest it feels like that to me at times too. Last Saturday we decided as we drove up the winding roads towards the mountains that The Hellfire Club would be our destination. We left it quite late getting there and only arrived at the car-park at 6pm. I was guaranteed that we’d easily make it up to Montpelier Hill and back down before it got too dark. I was also guaranteed that we had a flashlight should a certain person be wrong in their judgement. There is a tarmacadam-ed walk that one can take, which brings you just about to the top of the hill but we’ve rarely taken it. Instead for our sins we normally take the steep-ish off road make-shift path – sure who doesn’t like the legs burnt off them? When you get to the top after all your panting and puffing … I mean … after you elegantly and athletically get to the top … it’s worth the sight that you see.
Montpelier Hill itself is quite bare apart from its healthy green grass, The Hellfire Club (obviously) and a lovely big stone with a plaque (dedicated by a loved one to a loved one) but the view is fantastic. You can see the whole of Dublin City and out to sea. There is so much sky and it gives you that ‘I’m on top of the world’ feeling. It’s especially beautiful on a sunny summer’s day. I can imagine it’s amazing on a clear snowy day. The evening we got last Saturday was cold and as we stood taking in the sights it did begin to flutter snow. Can you spot me and Charlie in the panoramic photo ? ↓
And so onto The Hellfire Club and our destination. Although the hill is quite bare now my good gentleman/fiancé and walking partner told me that when he was a kid the whole hill was covered in trees which made it a very scary place to come. The Hellfire Club itself is in fact a two story lodge and is haunted, or so they say. I’ve read that it was lodge used by wealthy aristocrats in the 1900’s who set up the club at the lodge and liked nothing better than to get drunk, gamble, get up to divilment … if you know what I mean … oh and make sacrifices! Like any usual good Hellfire Club of its day I suppose. I also read that the site that the Lodge was built on is actually an ancient burial ground and that the stones used for the roof of the lodge were those from the burial site and hence the lodge was always doomed to be haunted. The best story that I’ve heard though is the story of when a group of the Hellfire Club members were playing cards one night, heard a knock at the door and when it was answered they were greeted by a young man. They invited him in, offered him a drink and a game of cards. Then things went a bit loco when one of the members dropped a card on the floor and as he bent over to pick it up he noticed that the young visitor at their table had hooves for feet … Agh! I’ve been inside the building before and had a walk about. It was a sunny day with lots of light. I wasn’t scared. Last Saturday it was dusk as we got to the Hellfire Club and I didn’t step inside. I not admitting that I was scared but the light was dim and shadows were eerie.
We made it from The Hellfire Car-park up to the top of Montpelier Hill, said hello to the city, the Hellfire Club and the sky and then made our way back down the ‘real’ path and all before it got dark and all within an hour with lots of dillydallying in between. Not bad going and totally worth every minute.
For more information on The Hellfire Club you can click here for DublinMountains.ie. I took a few snaps while on the hill. The light and my phone’s photos don’t do the scenery justice but you get the drift …