I live in what used to be a “Protestant enclave.” And now I know what that means!



Harold’s Cross. Or Haddle’s Cross as Paul Howard’s Ross O’Carroll Kelly calls it – though parts of it are or certainly were, Horold’s Cross.

When we moved here twenty or so years ago, someone told me that it had once been a “Protestant enclave.”

I had no idea what that meant.

But it stayed with me.
Protestant enclave?

So the other night I had a look at the Census returns from 1911, roughly 25 years after this part of Harold’s Cross was built.

And I found out what Protestant Enclave meant.

Because that census revealed the religious persuasions of people then living on this road.

And it broke down as follows:

Church of Ireland – 9

Roman Catholic – 6

Presbyterian – 4

Methodist – 3

Brethren, Society of Friends, Quaker, Wesleyan Methodist, Protestant Episcopalian, Congregationalist, Church of England, Free Thinker – one each.

And to think that, just up the road in Mount Arugs, there was a Catholic saint in residence!

The houses were built in 1884, nine years before the death of Joannes Andreas Houben, who became Saint Charles of Mount Argus when he was canonised in June 2007.

Of course, the mix these days is likely to be different with most saying they have no belief or no particular affiliation.

Still, I can’t help wonder about the “Free Thinker” and what they neighbours thought of him as they got on their penny farthings.



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