UCD Programme for Preservation of Period Houses
The evolution of the Belfield campus as we know it today actually dates back to the 18th century with the development of a number of period houses and their associated lands.
In his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1838), Lewis mentions the area around Roebuck Castle (which includes the area now known as Belfield campus) as follows;
“this district is chiefly occupied by handsome villas situated in tastefully disposed grounds, many of which command magnificent views of the bay and city of Dublin, the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains, and the beautiful adjacent country”
The distinctive landscape generated by these estate houses is still evident through woodland boundaries, tree avenues and walled gardens. The Belfield campus alone is made up from the land of 11 different suburban estates: Ardmore, Belfield, Belgrove, Merville, Roebuck Castle, Roebuck Grove, Roebuck House, Richview, Rosemont, Thornfield and Woodview. Sadly not all of the houses remain, but seven are still intact.
As part of the Campus Development Plan the university has established the Programme for the Preservation of Period Houses which commenced with the restoration of Newman House at St Stephen’s Green, the birthplace of the university. Since then various restoration works have been carried out on a number of the original houses located on the Belfield campus including Belfield House, Merville House and University Lodge. Ligouri House which is located at the Blackrock campus has also been redeveloped.
Future phases of the Preservation Programme are
expected to focus on the redevelopment of Ardmore House, Woodview House
and Roebuck Castle.