A brief history on Pembroke Townhouse, 88 Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge :
- Pembroke Townhouse, also formerly known as "Number 88", is a Georgian Townhouse located on Pembroke Road in the Dublin 4s' prestigious Ballsbridge. The building is made up of three adjoining Georgian Houses dating back to before the turn of the Century - Numbers 88, 89 and 90 Pembroke Road. In 1996, the mainly neglected building was upgraded by joining the three townhouses into one to convert 88-90 Pembroke Road into a four star guesthouse. The front wall, facade and main steps, were cleaned, restored and repointed and the building behind fully modernised into a 6 storey 50 bedroomed guesthouse (now 48 rooms, with the conversion of 2 bedrooms into other use), known as "Number 88". The gardens behind were joined and a 20 space car park created, acessed from the Baggot Lane. More recently, in 2005, the guesthouse name was changed to "Pembroke Townhouse".
Some brief historical points on the local and surrounding areas of Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge:
- In medieval times, there were two roads leading from Dublin City: one road ran from Dublin Castle to St. Stephen’s Green, then branched; the other went through Merrion Row, Baggot Street, Pembroke Street and Blackrock, crossing the Dodder by a fragile wooden bridge.
- Thomas Smothe built a walled-in enclosure or court for the safe-keeping of cattle at night. This subsequently became a place of recreation, and Dublin citizens were wont to resort to the green of “Smothescourt” (Simmonscourt) on festive occasions. At the beginning of the 18th century, a house named Ball’s House was built at Simmonscourt – this was occupied until 1734. In 1791, a bridge was built across the Dodder on the side of the present Ballsbridge and became known as “Ball’s Bridge”.
- With the introduction of Christianity, a church was built by a holy woman called St. Broc. The church was known as Domnach Broc i.e. the Church of St. Broc and became “Donnybrook”.
- The movement Southwards of the Liffey as a fashionable place of residence grew all through the 19th century. Pembroke generally was largely inhabited by professionals of Protestant religion who promoted large house building, rather than that within the reach of middle and working class families.
- Pembroke had an omnibus service in the 1860s, one every 30 minutes. The trams were introduced in 1861 by an American gentleman, Mr. Train, but did not get off the ground until the early 1870s.
- The Dublin Kingstown railway ran through the Pembroke Township, but only from the late 1860’s did the question of building stations arise, at Sydney Parade and Lansdowne Road. Thereafter, these seem to have been used mainly for the Dublin Horse Show and not for regular commuter traffic.
- During the 1916 Rising, Pembroke Town Hall was occupied by the Military H.Q. Staff and martial law was in force. On Sunday, 30th April, 1916, Commandant Eamonn De Valera received the order to surrender.
In the RDS showgrounds, 117 volunteers were herded together in horse -boxes. De Valera, however, was treated as an officer and placed under guard in Pembroke Town Hall.
- Pembroke Township was incorporated with Dublin Corporation in 1930 which left the Town Hall vacant.
- The 1907, Irish International Exhibition was held in Herbert Park, where a pavilion was created for British, colonial and foreign exhibits, as well as electricity and machinery annexes.