1884 – Merrion Pier and Baths, Dublin

Architect: Frederick Morley

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All that remains is a portion of the concrete basin on the strand of the former public baths. The Dublin Evening Mail described the baths on their opening as “120 feet by 120 feet, equally divided for ladies and gentlemen with graduated depths from 9 feet down”. Fresh seawater was pumped into the baths daily. The pier was a lightly braced iron framework with a wooden deck and approximately 350 feet long. By 1920, the pier had deteriorated so much that it had to be demolished.

The Irish Builder described the opening of the pier, “THE formal ceremony of “opening” the promenade pier and baths, which have been constructed at Merrion, took place on Saturday last. From the shore road opposite Sydney-avenue, the pier stretches out about 350 ft., with a width of 14 ft. The flooring is of deal planks, laid longitudinally, and well creosoted. It rests on light wrought iron lattice girders, supported on cast-iron columns, secured to iron screw piles driven through the sand. The bathing spaces at end of pier seem to be very carefully planned for the convenience of bathers and those practising the art of swimming. The bath for males is 120 ft. by 80 ft., and that for females 120 ft. by 40 ft. An excavation was made in the sand of sufficient depth to admit of the sea-water to flow in through 12 in. earthen pipes from “Cockle Lake.” Similar to the baths at Clontarf, the walls are of concrete, and appear to be of sufficient thickness. Dublin citizens need not now complain of lack of bathing facilities on either north or south side. The Baths Company is, we may mention, “well aided in this sanitary movement by the valuable services of the Dublin Tramway Company, whose cars run frequently to and from the baths at a small charge, including admission thereto.” Mr. Frederick Morley, C.E., Commercial Buildings, architect, furnished the plans and superintended the works. Messrs. Conolly and Son, Upper Dominick-street, are the contractors, who, we are happy to learn, have given the directors the utmost satisfaction.”

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