Cliff Baths

Enniscrone, Ireland | C.1850

Photo Credit: David Maguire

The Old Cliff Baths are located at the end of a rocky promenade on the northern end of Enniscrone beach, in a small seaside town in County Sligo, Ireland. It was built on the rocks in 1850 by the Orme family who owned extensive property within the village of Enniscrone and the county Mayo.

Ormes Lodge was built in tandem with the Old Cliff Baths in order to attract a wealthier crowd to the location. It remained in the Orme’s family until the 1930s when it subsequently became a hotel and was demolished in the 1990s to make way for new buildings. Orme’s Lodge is now the private dwelling of the Maughan family who are also the private owners of the now defunct Cliff Baths.

Toward the front of the Cliff Baths there was a large rectangular pool hollowed out of the rock that filled with each tide. Carved out of the rock, the bath allowed for a fresh supply of seawater even if the tide was low.

Very quickly the man-made pool was given the nickname ‘The Baby Rock’ by mothers of the village who would bathe their children in it during the warm summer months. Many of the villagers believed that seawater had beneficial qualities for their health.

In more recent times, the pool has become known as the ‘Crab Pool’. Highly concentrated children are still found trying to catch illusive crabs that get trapped in the rock pool when the tide recedes. While the Bath is no longer in use, it remains one of the most curious tourist attractions of the area.

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