Growing up and reading that members of the nobility would travel to far off places to “Take the waters”, it seemed that it was unlikely that we would have something similar close by. Lisdoonvarna in the midst of the wonderful Burren seemed to be an aberration, but due to the nature of the place it seemed understandable. Lucan on the other hand, on the outskirts of Dublin City, might not have been seen in the same light, but here is proof positive that indeed there was a Spa in Lucan.
Photographer: Robert French
Date: Circa 1865-1914
NLI Ref: L_ROY_09110
You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Comments

BeachcomberAustralia
"The Gateway to Health and Happines" according to this 1940 booklet - www.lucannewsletter.ie/history/spahotel.html Those characters look like they are 'bunburying' !
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
Foxglove
shooting from a low lit tunnel, into the light and getting all exposures through the photo balanced and visible is always a challenge and here it has been mastered excellently
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
sharon.corbet
From a perusal of the 25" OSI Map, (which doesn't seem to want to save), we're somewhere around where this Streetview is.
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
John Spooner
You didn't actually have to go there to enjoy the benefits of the watersSaunders's News-Letter - Wednesday 05 May 1773 (Saunders's News-Letter - Wednesday 05 May 1773)
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
BeachcomberAustralia
'Jaunty' spotted at the spa! Might drag us back to the early 1890s? - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000326239
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
BeachcomberAustralia
The sign on the right of the footbridge says "Strictly Private." (see note), so we won't go there - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000318642
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
BeachcomberAustralia
As usual, Mr French visited the spa at least twice - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000326238 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333777 [Edit} - this photo used in a 1910 Trove article, so pre 1910 - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/170920301
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
Bernard Healy
I wonder if this is the same place - more or less - phorographed in 1983: source.southdublinlibraries.ie/handle/10599/2015
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
Bernard Healy
Also - the Schools' Folklore Collection has the following: Lucan Demesne is reached by passing under the road, through a tunnel leading from the Hotel Grounds. The Spa House is situated at the end of the Tunnel and Visitors can obtain there spa Waters from the Attendant. The demesne on the south side of the river between the Spa Hotel and Leixlip, is open to the public, by kind permission of Captain Vesey. It affords some delightful walks along the winding banks of the Liffey, that silently glides through the ancient woods and overhanging trees. In the private part of the demesne are the ruined remains of Lucan castle, the old "Priory of St Mary's of Lucan" and a curious monument called the "Sarsfield Cenotaph". Lucan House, the residence of the Lord of the Manor, Capt C Colthurst Vesey, D.L., is a large house of comfortable proportions, with a plain Ionic front.. www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4428212/4386117
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
Bernard Healy
Based on the desciption above, and looking at the 25" map, I think we can see what's going on in the photo. I more or less agree with Sharon's location for the picture. The map shows that the photo seems to have been taken from the tunnel (marked in red) underneath the main road to Leixlip and we can see two footbridges (marked in blue) over the laneway that leads to the Spa House. 25" Map - Spa Lucan
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
O Mac
Bernard Healy Streetview from riverwalk where Spa house was. I think this might be an abutment to the masonry footbridge. Quoin stones just about visible in the undergrowth. maps.app.goo.gl/cHmnoYTB5gFRS3am6
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
BeachcomberAustralia
Do we have any ideas who these characters are? They look well-heeled and self-important. The cyclist should not have upstaged the older fellow in the top hat. And is that army or police uniform on the right? Perhaps something to do with the arrival of the steam tramway to the hotel around 1892? - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000150565 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000747314 "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the spas!" Not Oscar
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
suckindeesel
Good work to all in identifying the tunnel. The straw boaters and the modern looking safety bicycle indicate 1890s onwards.
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
suckindeesel
Note the barbed wire on footbridge, the "private" notice on right and the locked gate on left (visible in the other photo) indicates that Capt. Vesey didn't encourage visitors from the lower orders. I'd say the chap on right is wearing a hotel uniform and the pompous looking guy behind is some other sort of hotel flunky .
Posted: 15.12.2020  
 
 
DaithiDePaor
That is an RIC uniform. High collar, scalloped breast pockets and leather belt and pouch. The tunnel was filled in during the widening of the Galway Road.
Posted: 27.12.2020