A History of The Lucan Spa Hotel

The Lucan Spa Hotel has a long and colourful history. The complex first became a health resort in 1758 when an iron spa was discovered at Chapel Hill (at the bottom of the steps leading to Sarsfield Park from the Main Road). Thousands came to use the facilities of the spa and to test the therapeutic qualities of the spring.

In 1795, the Old Lucan Spa Hotel (now the Lucan County Bar) was built incorporating a ballroom and a number of guestrooms, though drinking spa waters for one's health had been a tourist attraction in Lucan for many decades before that. The spa associated with this hotel appears to have been discovered in 1758 and Agmondisham Vesey, on whose land it was located in Lucan Demesne, kindly built a wall around it to protect it from the River Liffey immediately alongside. The water of the spa was naturally impregnated with carbonate of lime and sulphureted nitrogen gas.

To the South of the Hotel lay The Crescent. This was a terrace of Georgian houses which were also built around this time to house all the holidaymakers who came to the Lucan Spa Hotel, which at that time rivalled such resorts as Tunbridge Wells and Leamington Spa in England. In 1789 it is said that Lucan was the favourite summer resort of the people of Ireland. There was much dancing and merriment, and the ballroom of the old Lucan Spa Hotel was a popular spot among the people of Greater Dublin.

However, by the time of Griffith's Valuation map, 1852, the resort had closed in favour of other spas located more convenient to Dublin City. As labelled on the map the hotel had become a School for Clergymen's Sons and the principal occupant was recorded as being John Burke. It was later also used as an asylum.

This Old Spa Hotel was a fashionable meeting point throughout the 18th Century, in whose surroundings the prosperous pillars of society then rested and entertained themselves with high social activities such as fox hunting with the Kildare and Meath Hunt. Eventually the fickle public turned to other places for amusement and to other beverages to quench their thirst. The old Lucan Spa Hotel then became a school for clergymen's sons, with the introduction of the Lucan Steam Tram in 1883.

At the end of the 19th Century, with the coming of trams and trains, an interest in the spa was revived and the Lucan Spa went from strength to strength. The Irish Builders, on the 1st September 1891, reported that a new hotel was to be built on the site, where it still stands today. The Lucan County Bar served as the Restaurant for the Hotel, while the residents stayed in the main part of the hotel.

The building was supplied with water pumped at high pressure from the river Liffey, while spring water for drinking purposes and rainwater for washing were also used.

The Lucan Spa Hotel remained popular into the 1900's but with the invention of the motor vehicle people looked further afield for their entertainment and as a result, the hotel lost its appeal as a major social and entertainment hub.

In 1958, Mr. Frank Colgan Senior bought the hotel from the Duggan Family. The Colgan Family still own and run the hotel today. In 1963, the family bought a private residence from the Harty Family in Chapelizod and had it converted into the West County Hotel in the 1980's.

In 1977, a serious fire destroyed the Lucan Spa Hotel which led to the construction of the Earl Bistro and Bar, the Limerick Room and the new wing of bedrooms.

In 2008, redevelopment of the Boyne Suite took place, along with major construction work on the exterior car parking and gardens. This development has transformed The Lucan Spa Hotel into one of Ireland's Premier Wedding and Conference Venues.

Proudly announcing 50 years ownership by the Colgan Family

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