History of Bundoran

Genealogy has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you require assistance with tracing your Bundoran and area family roots please contact Bundoran Community Library and the Magh Éne Historical Society. They probably won’t be able to answer your questions fully but they should be able to assist in pointing you in the right direction.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Bundoran or as it is known in Irish “Bun Dobhrain” which means the foot of the little water was actually up until over a century ago two separate villages. Bundoran was the village west of the bridge over the River Bradog, this area is now known as the West End. East of the bridge almost a mile away, was the village of Single Street. In between these two separate communities lay the historic townland of Drumacrin.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

The area of Drumcacrin is now part of what is today’s town centre. It was only after the opening of the railway station in 1866 which was called Bundoran that the two distinct communities developed and merged to what we know nowadays to be Bundoran.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Single Street was where the majority of the local native population lived. Across the bridge in what is now the West End, was the area of residence favoured by the more affluent classes.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

The first official mention of Bundoran was in 1777 when Viscount Enniskillen built Bundoran Lodge, his summer residence. This building still exists to this day and is now known as Homefield House. The Viscount seems to have started a trend amongst his contemporaries as more and more of them discovered Bundoran and visited it to enjoy the seaside location and the associated health benefits. Indeed such was its popularity that Bundoran became known as the Brighton of Ireland.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

With the advances in travel, in particular the railway, Bundoran’s popularity spread across the class barriers. With the opening of the railway link to Belfast and onto Dublin more and more people from the east coast of Ireland discovered the appeal of Bundoran and returned year after year. It was during this period that Bundoran emerged as one of Ireland’s most popular seaside resorts. Hotels and lodging houses started to spring up around the town. The best-known hotel and indeed one of Bundoran’s best landmarks the Great Northern Hotel was constructed by the Great Northern Railway Company during this period.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Bundoran as a destination remained popular throughout the 20th century and its appeal has been further enhanced by developments in recent years of the Waterworld Complex and building of new hotels, self-catering apartments and houses. Following this period of renaissance the town now boasts the largest accommodation base in the north west of Ireland and a host of activities, entertainment and attractions for all the family all year round.

Historical Picture of Bundoran, Co. Donegal

It is also world renowned for its wealth of surfing breaks – both beach and reef and now hosts five I.S.A. approved Surfing schools with all inclusive packages. No matter what time of the year the Bundoran of today will exceed your expectations-Music Festivals, Surfing, Equestrian, Walking, Biking, Sea-Weed Baths, Waterworld, Leisure Centres, Angling – or if you just simply want to relax, you will find all the time in the world to do it !!

Follow Bundoran’s Historical Trail

You may also be interested in:

Historic Bundoran > RightOfWay

Historic Bundoran > Storm of 1988

The Growth of Tourism in Bundoran


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