The Hellfire Club Walk (more officially known as ‘the Montpellier Loop Trail’) is one of my favourite Dublin Walks.
It’s reasonably handy and the views out over Dublin are only deadly!
This is a leisurely walk (depending on fitness levels) that takes you up Montpelier Hill to the ruins of a supposedly haunted lodge.
The story behind the Hellfire Club Dublin
At the top of Montpelier Hill lies the ruins of a very old hunting lodge that was first erected by R.H. Connolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Parliament, as a shooting lodge, around the year 1725.
There’s many a legend associated with the Hellfire Club in Dublin (a couple of which are similar to the story of the haunted Loftus Hall in Wexford).
After Connolly died, the lodge fell into disarray. According to legend, it soon became the meeting place for a group known as ‘the Irish Hellfire Club’.
The club was formed in 1735 by a lad named Richard Parsons, a known dabbler in dark magic.
There was a lot of secrecy surrounding the club members and this led to speculation that they were Devil-worshipers.
This probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the clubs president dressed like Satan, with horns, wings, and hooves.
The most widely known Hellfire Club story is the one where the Devil himself appeared.
A stranger joined the club one evening to play a game of cards. At some point during the game, one of the players dropped a card on the floor.
As he bent down to pick it up, he noticed that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of feet.
About the Hellfire Club Walk
There are several different walks that you can head off on here.
When you arrive at the carpark, you’ll notice the entrance to the main forest road, which goes up around the top of the hill.
As you make your way up the southern slopes of the hill, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the Piperstown Gap (bottom left on the map above).
There’s two different route options from here:
- Follow the right fork in the road through a beautiful coniferous forest.
- Take the northern slope of the hill which offers a view of the valley below.
Here’s a taste of the view from the top
Don’t take my word for it – check out the video below by Colm Dungan.
Have you done the Hellfire Club Walk recently? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.