Blackrock Baths

A proposal was put forward in 1754 to build a bathing place in Blackrock. Following the development of the Dublin-Kingstown Railway in 1834 a more firm decision was made about the bathing place. The Blackrock Promenade and Pier Company Ltd., decided to establish 'a Promenade Pier and suitable Bathing Place for the residents in the locality and for the use of the public at a point near Blackrock Railway Station'.

This followed public outcry that access to the sea had been cut off with the building of the railway line. References from the 'Irish Builder' mention the development and modernization of the baths in 1887. By 1928 the Municipal Council took over the Baths in time for the Tailteann Games in 1929.

Eddie Heron, diving supreme gave exhibitions during the Sandycove Galas, held in Blackrock Baths. The Baths were extremely popular with all age groups. In 1941 Dún Laoghaire Borough Corporation renovated the Baths again.

Dún Laoghaire Baths


The baths have always been a source of debate in the Dún Laoghaire area. Bathing was very popular in the eighteenth century, primarily amongst the wealthier people. Two separate bathing areas have been noted in maps dating from the 1790s in Dunleary. Development again had an impact on the landscape of the area. In 1836, with the building of the railway line the baths were removed.

Local people pleaded their case and there were new baths installed behind the west pier. However it was not until 1843 that the public baths (Royal Victorian Baths) were built just on the corner of Scotsman's Bay. They were extremely popular and Dún Laoghaire became of the best and most popular places in Ireland to bathe.

There was a range of bathing options including sea and fresh water, hot and cold baths. Children had their own pond and paddling pools and there was medical baths. These included sulphur, seaweed and Russian and hot sea- water. Moderate charges helped to increase their popularity as well as the fact that they were maintained to a high standard.

Service was excellent and included the provision of hot towels if required. There was a tea- room nearby providing refreshments for the bathers. Buses and trains offered a regular means of transport to and from Dún Laoghaire. In 1910 the baths were completely rebuilt by Kingstown Town Council. During the 1970s heated indoor pools were added as well as a water fun park (Rainbow Rapids).

In 1997 the outdoor baths were closed as there was a proposal made to develop a huge water complex on the site. This proposal did not come to fruition, due in part to the huge public outcry, but the baths remained closed. In 2005 proposals were made available for members of the public to view regarding the development of the baths.

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