Lucan, the most exotic place for taking the waters!

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by When

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Leinster, South Dublin, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
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

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

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

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6093
lawrenceroyals robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland lucan codublin spa waters entrance spahotel lawrencephotographcollection dublin ireland

Add Tags
  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Dec/2020 08:51:28

    "The Gateway to Health and Happines" according to this 1940 booklet - www.lucannewsletter.ie/history/spahotel.html Those characters look like they are 'bunburying' !

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 15/Dec/2020 09:22:32

    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

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 15/Dec/2020 09:22:44

    From a perusal of the 25" OSI Map, (which doesn't seem to want to save), we're somewhere around where this Streetview is.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 15/Dec/2020 10:21:36

    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)

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Dec/2020 11:10:56

    'Jaunty' spotted at the spa! Might drag us back to the early 1890s? - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000326239

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Dec/2020 11:34:32

    The sign on the right of the footbridge says "Strictly Private." (see note), so we won't go there - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000318642

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Dec/2020 11:42:20

    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

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 15/Dec/2020 15:20:33

    I wonder if this is the same place - more or less - phorographed in 1983: source.southdublinlibraries.ie/handle/10599/2015

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 15/Dec/2020 15:23:14

    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

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 15/Dec/2020 15:42:52

    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

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 15/Dec/2020 17:26:46

    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

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Dec/2020 20:21:35

    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

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 15/Dec/2020 20:44:12

    Good work to all in identifying the tunnel. The straw boaters and the modern looking safety bicycle indicate 1890s onwards.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 15/Dec/2020 21:25:20

    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 .

  • profile
  • profile

    DaithiDePaor

    • 27/Dec/2020 11:42:48

    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.