Kingsbridge Station

Kingsbridge Station

In Brief

In Penelope Molly recalls having seen Stephen Dedalus when he was half his present age: "I saw him driving down to the Kingsbridge station with his father and mother I was in mourning thats 11 years ago now yes hed be 11." The Kingsbridge station, now called Heuston, is on the western edge of Dublin. It connects Dublin by train with western and southern parts of Ireland, and in late 1893 James Joyce (then 11) made a trip to Cork with his father, leaving from Kingsbridge Station.

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After King George IV paid a visit to Ireland in 1821, a bridge was built across the Liffey to commemorate the event. In 1846 the Great Southern and Western Railway built a striking new train station nearby, designed in an Italianate style by English architect Sancton Wood. It came to be called by the name of the bridge. In 1966, fifty years after the Easter Rising, the station was renamed after Seán Heuston, one of the sixteen leaders executed by the British authorities. Heuston had been employed by the railroad, had worked in the offices of the station, and had commanded a detachment of soldiers nearby during the Rising.

In the second part of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen is seen "seated beside his father in the corner of a railway carriage at Kingsbridge. He was traveling with his father by the night train to Cork" (91-92). The purpose of the trip is to sell some family properties in that city, where John Joyce was born, in order to pay back a moneylender to whom he was deeply in debt. Joyce made a point of remembering the name of that moneylender, Reuben J. Dodd, in Ulysses.

In Wandering Rocks the viceregal cavalcade leaves Phoenix Park by the lower gate and "proceeded past Kingsbridge along the northern quays." Whether the reference is to the bridge or to the station is really a distinction without a difference, as the last photograph displayed here may illustrate.

JH 2019
Photograph by John J. Clarke, ca. 1897-1904, of a jaunting car passing the Kingsbridge railway station. Source: