Long Room

 

 

The Long Room, which opened on 16th May 1738, occupied the site of the present Clock House. It was a two-storey building that extended to the centre of the road. It was built by Colonel Anthony Jephson of Mallow Castle as a place of public entertainment for visitors to the Spa. Balls and public breakfasts were held here and it was frequented by the ‘Rakes of Mallow’ The Rakes were wild young men who engaged themselves liberally in drinking, gambling and where possible, hunting, particularly during the Spa Years.

The words to part of the song “Rakes of Mallow” are as follows:

Living short but merry lives
Going where the devil drives,
Having sweethearts, but no wives,
Like the Rakes of Mallow.

The Spa at Mallow was said to compare favourably with other famous Spas such as Bath, Tunbridge Wells and Scarborough. The only difference was that the Mallow waters were warm. People would come and drink the waters, and fill up bottles for people who were too ill to come themselves. They would take the water from the dog’s head pumps next to the Spa Public House. Unfortunately, it is no longer fit to drink.

Mr Murt Murphy took over the Long Room from the Colonel. Mr Murphy provided teas, coffee, chocolates and other necessary things, along with providing twice a week some of the Dublin newspapers of the day. The Spa went out of fashion as lodgings became too expensive to compete with the more fashionable Bath Spa, and consequently the Long Room too went into decline.

The Long Room was later converted into a school; it became Mallow’s first Primary School for boys. It’s said that Canon Sheehan and William O’Brien were pupils at the school but both were born in 1852, and the Long Room was demolished circa1850 so there is doubt about this. The building was causing an obstruction, extending as it did so far out onto the road, it was demolished so that the Spa road could be developed.