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The following is an excerpt from a very old and dilapidated directory, which found its way from Co. Leitrim to Lucan.
It is not even possible to decipher the title of the tome, but suffice to say it was published shortly after the 1851 national census, and contains all kinds of information on Great Britain and Ireland – conversion tables, lists of peers, baronies, minerals in various areas etc – an encyclopaedia of sorts.
However, still preserved towards the end of the book is a section titled "County Dublin Directory", and herein is some information on Lucan of old.
Lucan, an inland town and parish in Newcastle barony, Dublin county, seven miles W. from Dublin, comprising an area of 1,126 acres, of which 33 are in the town. Population of parish, 1,009, of town, 578, inhabiting 79 houses. It is situated close to the line of the Great Southern and Western Railway, of which it is the second station from Dublin, and upon the mail-coach road to Galway and Sligo.
After the conquest this place was settled on Richard de Peche, on of the early English adventurers; and in 1220 was in the possession of Waryn de Peche, who founded the monastery of St. Catherine, in the immediate vicinity. ……. It is now the property of the Vesey family.
The town is prettily situated in a fertile vale, on the east bank of the River Liffey, which is here crossed by a bridge of one arch, with granite parapet, surmounted by iron palisades, and consists of one wide angular street of small but neat houses and cottages, most of which are let in summer to visitors and invalids.
Its public buildings are, the Parish Church, a neat structure with a tower and spire, a large new Roman Catholic Chapel, and a Wesleyan Methodist Meeting House. It has a Dispensary and a Loan fund; a Lending library, and National Schools.
It is a Chief Constabulary Police Station, and Petty sessions are held every alternate Tuesday.
Lucan is noted for its chalybeate spa, and is much resorted to for its efficacy in scorbutic, bilious, and rheumatic complaints; in that called the "boiling spring," its water on analysis has been found to contain in every two gallons, 70 grains of crystallized carbonate of soda, 20 of carbonate of lime, 1 ½ of carbonate of magnesia, 2 of silex, 6 ½ of muriate of soda, and 14 of sulphur. The spa-house is an appropriate building, consisting of a centre and two wings, in one of which is an assembly-room, 62 feet long and 22feet wide.
The spa-house referred to is the present County Bar.
The scenery around Lucan is delightfully varied, and in part romantically beautiful, particularly in the grounds of Weston park, in which is the well-known and much-frequented waterfall, called the "Salmon Leap';" which consists of a succession of rocky ledges on the Liffey, over which the fish dart at one bound. It forms a beautiful cascade, the picturesque effect of which is greatly increased by the rich and loft wooded banks of the river, and the adjoining tastefully embellished demesne of Leixlip Castle.
The parish abounds in gentlemen's seats, and handsome villa residences; the principal of which are Lucan House, in a demesne of 500 acres, in which there is a monument to one of the Sarsfields, and an ancient oratory; St. Edmondsbury, Weston park, Woodville, Hermitage, &c. In the Irish peerage this place gives the title of Earl to the noble family of Bingham.
There follows a list of officials and residents:
Magistrates attending Petty Sessions, every alternate Tuesday
Sir John Kingsmill, Hermitage;
Major John Wills, Esker;
Charles Colthurst Vesey, esq. Lucan
Clerk, James Barker.
The Petty Sessions were held at the Constabulary Police Station where the Garda Station is now.
Businesses and Residents
Archer, William, esq. Iron Mills
Bagnall, John esq, Ballyowen
Barnewall, L. Balgaddy
Barnewall, Mr. Patrick, Ballyowen
Bayly, Mr. 12th Lock, Grand Canal
Becker, Mr. Michael, Twelfth Lock
Bell, Mr. Milltown House
Berwick, Walter, esq. St. Edmondsbury
Bingham, John, esq. Glenwood
Bourke, John, grocer
Brady Thomas, baker
Brough, Capt. Rich. Somerton lodge
Cahill, James, esq. Allenswood
Campbell, F. Grove house
Casey, Cornelilus, Esker
Clark, Henry B. esq. Beechpark
Clarke, Wm. esq, Esker hall
Colcloughly, Mr. F. Finnstown
Coley, Edward, butcher
Coley, J. esq. Coldblow
Collins, Miss C. Crescent.
Constabulary Police Sation – W.T. Gunn, sub-inspector
Cromer, Mr. grocer
Devereux, Mrs. Esker house
Dispensary – W. Duke, medical officer
Duff, Captain, St Catherines
Evans, Mr. George, Somerton lodge
Evans, James, esq. Lucan
Fagan, John, esq. Esker cottage
Ferguson, George, LR.C.S.I.
Fitzpatrick, Rev. J.R. c.c.
Fitzsimons, John, esq. Grange
Flood, Thomas, esq. Hillsborough
Garlan, Anthony, carpenter
Gaynor, James, shoemaker
Geoghegan, Mrs. Crescent
Gerraghty, John, esq. Ballyowen Castle
Green, Mrs. Grange
Hall, Thomas, esq.
Heron, Mrs. Primrose-hill
Husband, Capt. George, Cannonbrook
Kennedy, Mr. Kellystown
Keon, Edward M. esq. Westpanstown
Keynon, Charles, esq. Pringfield
Kingsmill, Sir John, Hermitage
Lucan Church – Rev. Hugh Prior, perpetual curate.
Lucan R. Catholic Chapel – Rev. James Murphy
Lynch, Mr. Thomas
Lynch, William, esq. Springfield
Malley, James, esq. St. Helen's
Masterson, Thomas, esq.
Masterson, William, esq. Balgaddy
Metcalf, Henry, esq. Crescent
McClean, Christopher, blacksmith
McIntire, William, grocer
Moore, Campbell, esq, Ballyowen
Murray, M Michael, blacksmith
Murray, Thomas, tailor
Murray, Michael, Balgaddy
Needham, Thos. R. esq. Griffin Lodge
O'Brien, Mr. John
Parochial School – Mr. O'Sullivan, master; Miss Williamson, mistress
Peppard, Patrick, esq, Backweston
Post Office – Miss Lynch, postmist.
Prior, Rev. H. A. perp curate of Lucan.
Railway station – Mr. Brennan, agent
Rainsord, R. Anna Liffey flour mills
Rider, Thomas, esq. St. Catherines
Rooney, Mr. Richard, Grange
Rourke, Edward, grocer
Scott, Sir Hopton, Woodville
Smullen, Thos. Esq. Lucan villa
Spa hotel, Cooldrinagh, John Burke, proprietor
Steward, Rev. Henry, Rectory
Tindall, Davind, booth and shoe maker
Vesey Arms inn – Mr. Lumsden, propri.
Vesey, Mrs. Emily, Lucan house
Wall, Robert, esq. Milltown house
Whitemore, Captain, Stacumney
Williams, John, esq. Finnstown cot.
Wills, John, esq. Esker lodge
William Archer's Iron Mill was on the site of the old Hills Woollen Mill, where Hill's Industrial Estate is now. The gates for St. Andrew's Church were made at this Iron Mill.
The Cromer family were grocers back then. The same family were involved in building over the centuries, and are responsible for several buildings in Lucan including part of St. Mary's GNS.
The Dispensary at that time was a wooden building more or less on the same site as the Health Centre beside Sarsfield Park – hence the name of the little lane leading up to it "Dispensary Lane".
The Parochial School referred to is St. Andrew's first school (1827) – the building is still standing opposite St. Andrew's Church.
The Anna Liffey Flour Mills at the time would have been close the beginning of the Shackleton era. Shackletons came to Lucan about 1858/9.
The Spa Hotel was the present County Bar, which catered for visitors to the sulphur spring.
Vesey Arms Inn – is the present day Kenny's Pub.
The great houses of the day were:
St. Edmondsbury, Glenwood, Ballyowen, Somerton, Allenswood, Beechpark, Esker Hall, Finnstown, Esker House, St. Catherines, Hillsborough, Ballyowen Castle, Cannonbrook, Primrose Hill House, Hermitage, St. Helens, Griffeen Lodge, Woodville, Lucan Villa, Lucan House, and Stacumney House (Celbridge) is in there as well – it would have been part of the old Aderrig area of Lucan.
There are even a couple of "Sirs" in there. Then we had carpenters, blacksmiths, shoe and boot makers, tailors, butchers and bakers, railway and canal workers, and plenty of agricultural workers on the various estates – a busy little place back in the 1850's, and this was even before Shackletons, Hills and the Presentation Sisters arrived in Lucan in the 1860s!
Big thank you to Peggy Smith who spotted 'Lucan' in this old tome back in Leitrim, and delivered it to us in many pieces – to share with you our readers.