Manresa House, Dublin

Manresa House is a retreat centre run by the Society of Jesus next to Saint Anne's Park in the Dollymount area of Clontarf in Dublin. In the 19th century it was home to Robert Warren and Arthur Guinness and is a protected structure in Dublin.[1][3]

Manresa House
Manresa Spirituality Center in Dublin, Ireland by Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ.jpg
The house at sunset
Manresa House is located in Ireland
Manresa House
Manresa House
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°22′00″N 6°10′42″W / 53.366805°N 6.178265°W / 53.366805; -6.178265
LocationDollymount, Clontarf
CountryRepublic of Ireland
DenominationRoman Catholic
Former name(s)Granby Hall
Baymount Castle
Founded1949 (1949)
Functional statusRetreat Centre
Heritage designationProtected Structure[1]
DeaneryFingal South East[2]
Manresa House Dublin logo.png



Manresa House is a stately home that has had a series of different owners. It was originally known as Granby Hall, and then Baymount Castle and included 17 acres of land surrounding the house. Until 1783, it was a residence of the Bishop of Down and Connor, James Traill. In 1838, it was renovated by Robert Warren. Soon after, it became the property of the Sisters of Loreto who used it as a school. In 1851, it was renovated by the sisters, because the building was damaged by a serious fire that year.[3]

In 1898, they sold it to Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun and moved to Balbriggan.

Use as a Preparatory SchoolEdit

In around 1904 William Scott opened a school on the premises called Baymount Preparatory School, of which he was headmaster until 1936. The school was then acquired by John Tudor Gwynn, who ran it until 1948. John T Gwynn was a descendant of John Gwynn and a member of the Gwynn family that included noted literary figures such as Stephen Gwynn and Edward Gwynn.[3]

Establishment of Spirituality CentreEdit

In 1948, the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid asked the Jesuits to establish a spirituality centre in the Dollymount area, so they bought Baymount Castle. They renamed it Manresa House after Manresa in Catalonia, Spain, where St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits had many spiritual experiences that contributed to formulation of his Spiritual Exercises.[4]

The Retreat CentreEdit

The first retreat was held there in 1949. In 1966, a new separate house to was built to accommodate more retreatants and was opened in 1967. In 1969, the Irish Jesuits moved their novitiate from Emo Court in County Laois to a building within the grounds of Manresa House. In 1977, part of the property, near the novitiate, was sold to developers to build a housing estate. In 1991, the novitiate moved to Dublin. In 2006, a new building was built on the site of the old novitiate for the Tertianship of the Jesuits in Europe.[4]


The centre offers a variety of directed retreats, seminars, and various day and evening events, as well as the 30-day retreat, from the Spiritual Exercises.[5]

In the oval meditation room are a set of windows designed by Evie Hone. They were installed in the 1990s.[6] The windows were originally in the former Jesuit school St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co. Offaly.


Manresa House, runs a two year Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction) accredited by St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and has been offered in centres in Galway and Larne. Training in supervision for spiritual directors is also offered.

People associated with Manresa HouseEdit

Fr. Joseph Dargan SJ, served as Rector and master of novices in Manresa. Fr Kieran Hanley Fr. Paul Andrews SJ also served as rectors. The current rector is Fr. Mike Drennan, SJ.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Record of Protected Structure[permanent dead link] from Dublin City Council retrieved 23 June 2013
  2. ^ Deaneries Archived 2013-06-28 at the Wayback Machine from Archdiocese of Dublin retrieved 23 June 2013
  3. ^ a b c History Archived 2013-09-24 at the Wayback Machine from, retrieved 22 June 2013
  4. ^ a b Manresa Spirituality Centre from, retrieved 22 June 2013
  5. ^ Manresa Retreat House Archived 2013-06-24 at from Sabbatical Wanderings, retrieved 22 June 2013
  6. ^ Evie Hone window in the Jesuit Manresa House in Dublin from University College Cork retrieved 22 June 2013
  7. ^ Jesuits from Mansera House Community European Tertianship.

External linksEdit