Broadstone was known in earlier times as Glasmanogue. The name is descriptive of a ford crossing place over the Bradogue, a Liffey tributary stream the mouth of which is located there. The Bradogue rises in Cabra to the north-west and runs to the Liffey at Ormond Quay. It has long been culverted and now runs wholly underground.

Broadstone Station, a former railway terminus, is located opposite the Kings Inns at Constitution Hill.

Broadstone is home to a number of landmarks such as the Black Church (St. Mary's Chapel of Ease), King's Inns, Broadstone Station, the Blessington Street Basin, Berkeley Road Church (St. Joseph), and Royal Canal Bank. Much of the area was originally part of the Grangegorman estate, the demesne, manor house and grounds of the Monck Minogue Stanley family.

The area consists of streets of small and mid-sized red-brick houses built after the development of the G.W.R. a century after the building of early Georgian Dublin in neighbouring Mountjoy prior to the Act of Union 1801. One notable aspect of Georgian architecture retained in these modest homes was the ornate doorways with half-circle fanlights.

Broadstone does not have a village centre or main street. The Railway Terminus was the focal point of the neighbourhood and Broadstone's importance was derived came from its location as one of Dublin's then six railway termini.

The Luas Green Line, serves the DIT Campus in Grangegorman with two LUAS stops called Broadstone - DIT and Grangegorman. This connects Broadstone Plaza from Constitution Hill to Grangegorman. The LUAS continues northwards to Broombridge railway station along the old Broadstone Railway line and southbound to Phibsboro and Dublin City Centre.

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