The History of Buswells

The building that is now Buswells hotel can date its history back to the 1800’s.  Before it was a hotel is was the Queen’s Institute for the Training and Employment of Educated Women, started in 1861 by Mrs. Anne Jellicoe, a campaigning Quaker from Mountmellick, and Dublin businessman Henry Walker Todd. Their pioneering college was the first of its kind in Europe.  The institute offered classes in telegraphy, engraving, architectural drawing, book-keeping and woodwork, among other things. The institute took premises at 25 Molesworth Street, across the road from Leinster House, then the headquarters of the RDS (Royal Dublin Society). The Queen’s Institute finally closed in 1881 after 20 years of good work, and a year after Anne Jellicoe died.

By the early 1880’s, a Mr. James A McIntosh owed the building and was running it as a hotel “Buswells”.   He was well known for having quite the wine cellar with his “Admirable Light Dinner Sherry” being especially appreciated.    Mr. McIntosh remained in charge of the hotel until the early 1900’s.

According to 1911 census,  Miss Anne Frances Gallagher is the proprietor of 25 Molesworth Street which is known as “Gallaghers Hotel”.   

In 1923,   Mrs. Nora O’Callaghan-Duff bought the 22 bedroomed hotel and renamed it “Buswells Hotel”.   At that time there was no electricity and the kitchens had earth floors.  But she soon changed all that and in 1928 electricity and hot and cold water were introduced.  In 1936, Buswells had central heating (two years ahead of The Shelbourne) with an additional 22bedrooms and a new dining room.

Number 23 Molesworth Street (Jane William antiques) and 24 (Trumans Printing) were purchased in 1944 and added to Buswells Hotel.

Mr Noel Duff took over from his mother in early 1950’s there were 50 bedrooms and 40 residents, most of them elderly who had lived there for 20 years or more and who could not be incorporated into a modernisation programme.

In 1995,  the hotel was bought by the then Sean Quinn Group . Mr Quinn then went on to purchase No.27 Molesworth Street (Gaynor Solicitors).  The hotel was closed for 6 months in 1997 whereby it underwent a complete refurbishment.  The hotel today occupies Numbers 23 – 27 Molesworth Street and boosts 67 bedrooms, 8 Conference Suites, 1 restaurant, 2 bars and a small gym.