Where does the name Hodson Bay get its name? It’s interesting to take a look at where you are visiting. Remember everywhere has a history? Everywhere has a story to be told. Knowing things about a place is what connects us to a place and its people. After all, why do we visit place if not learn more about it?
A Dark Start…
Hodson Bay had a dark start. It was once a monastery known as St. John’s Abbey where monks under Jacobite rule lived humble lives. The monks made religious relics from stone. During the development of Hodson Bay, developers found relics. A stone carving of a Norman warrior’s head dating back to medieval times is presently in the care of the National Museum.
Four Generals Plunder
Oliver Cromwell came to Ireland in 1640 to plunder and pillage. His four generals, Hodson, Gunning, Lyon and Sproule received payment in terms of land for their service. St. John’s Abbey was plundered, and General Hodson built his house on the site.
Generals Hodson, Gunning, Lyon and Sproule
The four generals settled in Ireland. These four generals’ families intermarried for generations. At all stages right up to recent times for over four hundred years, there was a Hodson, a Gunning, a Lyon or a Sproule living on the site of where Hodson Bay Hotel now stands.
Local record shows the ownership of the house to be of the Hodson family around 1700, and he is accredited with being the person who constructed the stone tower on the small island known as Temple Island. It sits opposite the hotel. This stone round tower on a little island is called Hodson’s Pillar. The ruins of which are still visible today. It marks the historical centre of Ireland.
300-Year-old Hodson’s Pillar
In recent years, the tower has begun to crumble. It revealed a secret. A perfect replica of an ark-shaped stone boat remained hidden inside the Round Tower. The monks are thought to have originally carved the boat. It is still a mystery why Hodson hid the boat 300 years ago.
The First Irishman to Gain Ownership
Since Cromwell landed in Ireland, no Irishman owned the property at Hodson Bay. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that an Irishman gained ownership of the site of Hodson Bay. The late PJ Lenihan father of Mary O’ Rourke and the late Brian Lenihan Sr. and grandfather of the late Brian Lenian Jr. (Minister for Finance 2008-11) purchased the building at Hodson Bay. He opened a hotel, and thus the Hodson Bay Hotel was born.
Hodson Bay Today
Then in 1992 the O’ Sullivan family bought the hotel and have developed it over the past 25 years to become beautiful 176 bedroom hotel, conferencing and leisure resort. It is fascinating to learn something about a place. Hodson Bay and the surrounding area attracts people because of its rich history and culture. It is the gem in the heart of Ireland. The O’Suillvan Family know its history. They ingrain the local history and culture throughout Hodson Bay Hotel, so it is not forgotten. All the conferencing and event suites are named after places of great history: Clonmacnoise Suite, Rindoon, Lecarrow, Lough Ree, Killinure, Lenihan & Barrymore and Ballybay. They aim to remain committed to their local roots and acknowledge its past.