1807 – Royal Canal Hotel, Moyvalley, Co. Kildare

Architect: John Brownrigg


In 1807 a Royal Canal Hotel was opened at Moyvalley, between Enfield and Kinnegad. It was reported to have been “the best of its kind and one of the best kept of any in Ireland” but like the canal itself found it hard to remain viable. At one point it was being used as a police barracks in an effort to counteract local Ribbonmen who were regularly attacking boats.

The canal project was beset by financial problems and it took nearly 30 years to develop the new inland waterway at a total cost of £1,421,954, seven times more than the original estimate. Several times during its construction additional funding was sought. It was never a financial success, perhaps due to the proximity of the Grand Canal, and was eventually bought out by a railway company.

After another failed attempt at running a successful hotel on the site, a Mr. Switzer (of the eponymous department store in Dublin) purchased the building and established a successful Hydropathy and Spa there. After closing the business he continued to reside there until his death in 1891.There were a number of subsequent owners until the building was finally vacated in the 1930s. After falling into disuse, the building was finally demolished in 1977 to make way for a new road.