One of the earliest mentions of the area concerns the location of the original St. Nahi's Church in the eighth century on which site today's 18th century church currently stands. The ancient name for Dundrum is "Taney" and the name is taken to mean "The Church of Nathi". The first reference to the placename of Taney occurs in the Charter of St. Laurence O'Toole to Christchurch in 1178 as "half of Rathnahi" and in the following year in a Papal bull of Pope Alexander III to the same archbishop as "Medietatem de Tignai". Variations of the spelling continued until the mid 1500s.
When the Normans arrived in 1169, a series of fortifications were built around Dublin. A castle was built in Dundrum as part of this series of outer fortifications around the 13th century. Later in 1590, a newer castle was build by Richard Fitzwilliam as part of a strategic line of castles within the Pale. The original village clustered around Dundrum Castle and was considered a rural defensive outpost against assaults and raids from Irish tribes and families such as the O'Tooles and the O'Byrnes. In 1619, a relation by the name of William Fitzwilliam was granted the castle in recognition of his bravery and courage while defending against these assaults and his family held onto the Fitzwilliam seat until 1790. The castle was never reoccupied and exists today as ruins overlooking Dundrum Bypass and the new shopping centre. Recent excavations in 1989 recovered green glazed pottery known as "Leinster Ware", shells from oysters and cockles, animal bones, and shards of pottery from Saintongue in France probably used for storing wine.
The arrival of Richard Fitzwilliam and the building of the castle established commercial activity in the region. The village was well known for "The Manor Mill" where corn was ground into flour. An overflow waterfall was also used by a paper mill and an iron works.
In 1818, Christ Church on Taney Road was opened as a replacement for a smaller church that stood on the same site. Selling pew sites raised funding for the new building, and the sale of 18 pews on the ground and 8 on the gallery raised nearly £400. The architect for the new church was William Farrell. Walter BOURNE was born in 1795 in Dublin, Ireland. He died on 19 Nov 1881 in Taney House, Dundrum, Dublin, Ireland. He married Louisa Arabella MINCHIN in 1821.
The village expanded greatly after the arrival of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway (DSER) in 1854. By 1876, the Manor Mill became a Laundry and was the largest employer of female labour in the region, The Laundry hooter was a regular and well-loved sound in its day, and would sound at 7.50am for thirty seconds, then at 8am to start work, and also at 13.50, 14.00, and finally at 16.50 and 17.00.
In 1914, a Carnegie Library was opened by the then Lord Chancellor. Originally, the library was used as an entertainment facility for the community and the upper floor was equipped with a stage and even a kitchen. The building was also used as a school until the 1950s.
A much bigger shopping centre opened just south of the village on March 3, 2005. Known as Dundrum Town Centre it contains within the complex one of the largest cinemas in Ireland, opened in early October 2005. The old shopping centre is to be demolished to create space for hotels, apartments and more shops.
Given its original status as a village in its own right, much historic architecture survives to this day, with many estates and large homes.