In my next take of the markets area, in true Sherlock Holmes style, I took my notebook, pen and beady eye. No one I asked knew anything about wonderful things in the area so I ploughed the streets quietly looking for clues for what lies beneath – street names, old stone walls, plaques, peeping through gates, walking up stairwells, braving the back-alleys. Cuckoo Lane, I had never been here before, a place in the back door of my city with a beautiful name and an ugly aspect, though one time people must have down scurried here to the friary on Church Street.
In order to fully understand the place and its character and origins I looked at old maps.
Here is Speeds map 1610, the first map of Dublin; clearly St. Mary’s Abbey and St Michan’s Church are 12th century cornerstones of the area and Church Street leading North, Mary’s Lane and the current Chancery Street/ Mary’s Abbey are key routes through the area:
Here is La Rocque’s Map 1765 and we can see that modern Dublin is well underway and that the Northside of the Liffey has been developed:
Here is Pat Liddy’s map of Dublin in 2050 from ‘Pat Liddy andn the Changing Landscapes of Dublin’, 2003: