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Broadstone is one of the older parts of the city, being known in earlier times as Glasmanogue. The name ‘Broadstone’ is descriptive of a crossing of a stream, the Bradogue, located here. The Bradogue rises in Cabra to the north-west and runs to the Liffey at Ormond Quay, but has long been culverted and now runs almost wholly underground. In earlier times the stream was traversed by means of a large oblong stepping stone – the Broadstone, located near to the present-day site of Constitution Hill.
Although small it is home to a number of well-known landmarks such as the Black Church (St. Mary’s Chapel of Ease), King’s Inns, Broadstone Station, the Blessington Basin, Berkeley Road Church (St.Joseph), and Royal Canal Bank. Much of the area was originally part of the Grangegorman estate, a grand house and grounds owned by the Monck family, amongst others. Monck Place, off Phibsboro Road, still bears the name.
The area presently consists mostly of streets of small red-brick houses built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, a century after the building of Georgian Dublin prior to the Act of Union 1800. One aspect of Georgian architecture retained in these modest homes was the ornate doorways with half-circle fanlights.
Unlike most Dublin suburbs, Broadstone does not have a village centre or main street, and this, along with its small size and tucked-away location means its existence is a surprise to many, even natives of the city. The dividing line between Broadstone and the neighbouring suburb of Phibsboro is something of a mystery, even to locals, with some claiming that Broadstone is simply a part of Phibsboro. This is often used by estate agents to advertise Broadstone properties as being in Phibsboro, which has a better public profile and higher prices. However both the national postal authority An Post and the Ordinance Survey of Ireland clearly identify Broadstone as a separate entity.