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An original timber window discovered during the redevelopment of The La Touche Hotel is about to become an historical feature in the building.
Found in a top-floor bedroom, the window will be restored to its former glory with the new glass being inscribed with text and images from the hotel’s long history.
Taking on the job of that restoration is Sean Doyle & Sons Ltd, who have been working on the transformation of the La Touche Hotel into apartments.
We should have a picture of the finished window soon. In the meantime, the Doyle clan have issued a press release…
The La Touche Hotel is synonymous with Greystones as the former Victorian building has a long and colourful history, rich with characters and fascinating stories.
Having opened on June 4th, 1894, the hotel was originally called Rhe Grand Hotel and was one of the most prominent buildings in Greystones. It later became known as The La Touche Hotel in recognition of the enormous contribution which the La Touche family made towards the development of Greystones and Delgany. Prominent bankers and developers, the La Touche family was also known for being religious, humane, and generous to the poor.
The building has been carefully redeveloped into a stylish and contemporary housing development by McGreevy Enterprises and will be officially opened in 2020. As one of Ireland’s leading specialist manufacturer of quality windows and doors, Sean Doyle & Sons Ltd was delighted to supply the windows and doors for the major redevelopment project.
“An original window from the La Touche Hotel was salvaged during the redevelopment and we have carefully restored it in our timber joinery and inserted new glass complete with imagery and historical details which will form part of the new development,” said Kenneth Doyle. “This is an original window from a top floor bedroom of the former La Touche Hotel and gives us an important glimpse into the past and reminds us of the importance of this unique building from an historical and cultural perspective.
The hotel was long a significant feature on the Greystones landscape, and boasting 40 bedrooms along with a billiard, smoking and coffee room along with a ladies dining room. Designed by architects McCurdy & Mitchell of Dublin, the hotel was built by Mr Kiernan and Mr Baird.
Among the famous guests who frequented the Grand Hotel over the decades were War of Independence veteran Michael Collins, who proposed to Kitty Kiernan in the hotel on October 8th, 1921. Collins announced his engagement in the Dáil but before a date for the wedding could be chosen, Collins was assassinated by Anti-Treaty forces in Co Cork in 1922.
The famous Irish playwright and poet Brendan Behan famously visited Greystones in the 1950s and booked into the Grand Hotel to write, but ended up in Bray District Court for being drunk and disorderly.
The Irish actress Maureen O’ Hara – who became known as The Queen of Technicolour during the Golden Age of Hollywood – also stayed in The Grand Hotel in Greystones.
“We felt it was important to record the rich and colourful history of the La Touche Hotel and pay homage to the past,” continues Kenneth, “So we have inserted images of some of the most famous visitors to the hotel on the restored window complete with some historical information so that the cultural and historical importance of the building is recorded.”
You can chart The La Touche Hotel’s journey from there to here over here, and explore Greystones’ old hotels right here.