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Lucan - Chronology

c. 8,000 BC: Esker Riada (ridge of sand stretching from Lucan to Galway also known as the Sli Mor) is formed by the action of glacier movement

7th to 12th century: Lucan Ring-Fort built including a souterrain (known as "The Cave") at the summit. Subsequently rediscovered and described in 1740 (see below)

12th Century: Esker Church Built. Its ivied ruin still stands today near Lucan Sports and Leisure Centre.

1159: Anglo Normans arrive. King Henry II grants lands near Lucan Village (now Lucan Demesne) to Alard Fitzwilliam.

c. 1200: King John’s Bridge built. A single span still exists and it is reputed to be the oldest bridge in Ireland.

1203: Alard Fitzwilliam sells Lucan lands to Werris de Peche for "40 Marks and a palfrey", a palfrey being a highly-valued riding horse of the time.

Early 1200s: Esker Church is given by King John to St. Patrick’s Church Dublin.

1224: St. Patrick’s Church becomes a cathedral and the new Dean, William Fitzguido, dedicates Esker Church to St. Finian.

1248: Manor of Esker granted to Peter de Bermingham

Late 1500s: Lucan Demesne comes into the possession of the Sarsfield Family

1620: Ballyowen Castle (still exists today as part of the Ballyowen Shopping Centre) is described as having "five hearths" and being occupied by a "Christopher Taylor, Gentleman".

1650: Patrick Sarsfield, the first Earl of Lucan born at Lucan, Co Dublin. The second son of Patrick Sarsfield of Lucan and Anne O 'Moore, daughter of Rory O ' Moore.

1663: Colonel Alexander Jephson, a collaborator of Revolutionary Thomas Blood’s, meets Sir Theophilus Jones on Lucan Bridge. Retiring to Lucan Castle for refreshments, they discuss Blood’s intentions to incite a rebellion to overthrow the Government. Jephson reports this to the Duke of Ormonde whom the rebels were intending to capture. The plot is thus foiled by this chance meeting. Blood notoriously attempted to steal the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London eight years later.

1673: Agmondisham Vesey born.

1689: Patrick Sarsfield is made MP for County Dublin on the 7th May.

1690: King James makes Sarsfield Baron Roseberry, Viscount of Tully, and Earl of Lucan.

1691: On 3rd of October, Sarsfield brokers favourable terms for the capitulation of Limerick

1693: Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, is killed whilst head of a French division in the Battle of Landen in Flanders. He is buried in the grounds of St. Martin’s church, Huy in Belgium.

1719: Patrick Sarsfields’s son, James, dies and the earldom of Lucan becomes extinct. Lucan Demesne inherited by Charlotte Sarsfield who marries Agmondisham Vesey. Colthursts inherit demesne from Veseys.

1738: Agmondisham Vesey dies and is succeeded by his son, the Rt. Hon Agmondisham Vesey .

1740: Souterrain rediscovered. Described in Ball’s "History of the County Dublin" as having "…an entrance of stone not unlike the mouth of an oven so narrow it must be entered with your feet first… you then enter a large circular chamber about 13 feet in diameter… and about 8 feet high"

1758: Lucan Sulphur Spring discovered alongside the Liffey by Agmondisham Vesey (son of the Rt. Hon. Vesey). This discovery prompts the start of the famous Lucan Spa which lives on, in name at least, to this day due to the continued existence of the eponymous hotel.

1772: Agmondisham Vesey Jnr starts planning work on Lucan House. A year later he commences building the Palladian-Style bridge which stands to this day

1785: Agmondisham Vesey Jnr dies

1795: Lucan Spa reaches its peak as a health resort.

1798: On May 25th, the United Irishmen's rebellion comes to Lucan. Blair’s Ironworks in Lucan is plundered by the rebels. The attack is repelled.

1800: Act of Union passed, heralding a gradual decline in the ancient Royal Manor of Esker's industrial heritage.

1803: Robert Emmet attempts to replicate the 1798 rebellion. Lucan repels the rebels again. During the course of the rebellion fourteen men are arrested in Lucan by the Cavan militia. They are accused of firing on yeomen and troops.

1805: James Gandon purchases Canonbrook House.

1807: Father MacCartan (also known as Fr. McCarthy) is murdered on Lucan hill. His murderers are both hanged, as was customary in those times, at the scene of the crime. He is buried within the walls of Esker Church ruin.

1841: 563 inhabitants are recorded for the Lucan area in this year’s Census.

1820s: Anna Liffey Mill is built near Lucan Bridge (although technically in Co. Fingal, it is regarded by many as a piece of Lucan heritage).

1840s: Lucan is relatively untouched by the famine. A hole in the wall of Lucan Demesne (still visible, but now bricked up) is reputed to have been used to feed local inhabitants

1846: The Great Southern & Western Railway opens a station at Lucan South.

1859:  Joseph Shackleton (of the Antarctic Explorer family) leases Anna Liffey mill. The mill operates as "Shackleton’s Mills" thereafter. He is renowned for his empathy towards his employees, building houses for them, organising excursions and building a coffee house to discourage intemperance. Demolished in 1984, the coffee house stood where the road to Laraghcon meets Lucan Bridge.

1881: The Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway (DLST) opens in June. The route starts in Conyngham Road and terminates in Chapelizod. By November, the route has been extended to Palmerstown.

1883: The DLST is extended as far as Lucan (terminating just opposite present-day Courtney’s pub)

1886: Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club founded.

1897: Lucan Golf Club founded

1900: The Lucan Steam Tram is electrified and renamed "The Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway Company" (D&LER)

1916: Lucan remains relatively unscathed by the Rebellion in Dublin. The D&LER is the only tram service uninterrupted by the Rising. The Spa hotel thrives due to an influx of visitors breaking their journeys from the West to avoid the conflict in Dublin City.

1914-1918: Surviving records in the UK National Archives name 27 Lucan-born men who died in the Great War. These names include James Hunter of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, died 6th September 1916 in Guillemont, and W Lanigan of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Villers-Bretonneux on the 27th March 1918. They lived ten doors apart in Weir View Terrace overlooking the Liffey Weir in Lucan.

1925: Threatened by the expansion of the motor bus in Dublin, and suffering the after-effects of the 1922 Troubles, the D&LER ceases operation.

1940: Dublin County Council agrees to the removal of the Lucan tram lines and the reinstatement of the roadway.

1939-1945: Residents of Lucan, like elsewhere in the country, suffer rationing and the unavailability of luxuries previously taken for granted. However, they are relatively unscathed by the conflict. War-related mentions of Lucan in the Irish Times of the period include the appointment of James O’Toole as ARP (Air Raid Precautions) officer for the area (October 1941). Also, in August 1942, 1,000 Local Defence Force men and Red Cross personnel paraded in Lucan Village led by the No. 1 Army Band.

More mundane matters were also occupying Lucanians during this period:

  • Michael H. was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a horse and cart (August 20th 1943)
  • Patrick I. of Adamstown was charged with stealing a bicycle and was fined £2 with 16s. 4d. costs (January 19th 1940)
  • John M. was remanded on bail for stealing a harness value £7 from the Lucan branch of Muintir Na Tire (January 8th 1942)

1947: Lucan South railway station closes to passengers.

1951: Lucan’s population increases to 1,297

1954: Lucan House is purchased by the Italian government and becomes the Italian Ambassador’s residence.

1975: Senator Evelyn Owens, speaking during a seminar on "The Future Role of Women in the Community" warns that within 20 years the population of Clondalkin and Lucan will be as large as that of Cork City

1976: Population of Lucan is12,451. Dublin County Council submits design proposals for the construction of a £2m bypass for Lucan

1981: Griffeen Valley Park development starts

1983: Griffeen Valley Park opens

1988: Lucan Bypass opens splitting "old" and "new" parts of Lucan.

1991: Vesey Park developed

1996: Lucan Demesne bought by Irish Government with the aim of establishing a Liffey Valley Park

1999: Shackleton’s mills cease milling flour.

2005: Adamstown Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) is started. SDZs are developments where infrastructure must take place in tandem with housing. Adamstown Planning Scheme wins the principal award at the Irish Planning Institute's 2005 Awards. Infrastructure works commence on 7 February 2005, and on 16 February 2006 the first houses go on the market.

2006: Lucan’s population 37,300. Almost three times the 1976 figure. Facilities in Lucan provided by SDCC are further expanded by the development of Ireland’s first concrete skateboarding park in Griffeen Valley Park.

2007: Adamstown Railway Station opens.