by Oriana Kraemer
Stoneybatter with its unique small-scale housing typologies is probably one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Dublin. In fact, I don’t know any other capital where single story dwellings have survived the pressure of rising land prices to such large extent. Strolling through the windy viking-named lanes you can almost imagine being in an old fishing village. The scale of the cottages and terraced houses evoke the intimacy and familiar atmosphere of a small town and despite the tranquility there is always a chance to have a chit-chat with one or the other “born-and-raised”. You might find someone watering plants, flowers carefully placed in one of the obsolete iron boot scrapers accompanying each entrance, or an old man waving from his doorstep as you pass by.
The absence of green does not compromise the charm of the area in any way. To the contrary – Without trees the beautiful simplicity of these former workers residences comes into its own much more and I am not surprised when I learn that Stoneybatter has already served as a backdrop for various movies such as Educating Rita (1983), Michael Collins (1996), Angela’s Ashes (1999) and even a Spice Girls music video..!
Above a nice steplike brick detail in Oxmantown Road, named after the Ostmen or Austmenn (men of the East) as the Vikings called themselves. At the time of the Norman invasion during the late 12th century, they were exiled to the north of the Liffey (Stoneybatter) where they founded the hamlet of Ostmenstown later to become Oxmantown. (Source: wikipedia)