Tag Archives: mill

A Bourne mystery

Here is an ad, from 1785, offering to let flour-mills at Portlaw, Co Waterford, and a bake-house in John Street, Waterford, to a “tenant possessed of abilities”.

The ad is interesting in several respects. First, although the location of the flour-mills is not clear, they may have preceded the iron-works, the famous Malcolmson cotton-mill and the later tannery on the site; they certainly seem to have used the water power of the Clodiagh.

Second, the ad suggests that flour could be carried from the mills by three rivers to Waterford: the Clodiagh, the Suir and St John’s Pill, which is another navigation featured on this site.

Third, the ad invites applications to be sent to either John Thomas Medlycott in Dublin or John Edwards Bourne in Mayfield, Waterford. The Post-Chaise Companion [4th ed] says

Within half a mile of Portlaw, on the L is Glen-house the seat of Mr Bourne.

At Portlaw are the extensive mills built by Edward May Esq, and about a quarter of mile beyond Portlaw on the L is a large house built by the same gentleman.

About a mile from Portlaw, on the R situated on the banks of the Suir, is Mayfield, the noble and delightful seat, with very extensive and beautiful demesnes and plantations, of William Watson Esq and on the L is Coolfin, the seat of the Rev Thomas Monck.

That puts a Mr Bourne in Portlaw, though in Glenhouse rather than Mayfield. The Glenhouse address is confirmed by Matthew Sleater in 1806.

But what interests me is whether the John Edwards Bourne mentioned in the ad is related to John Edwards Bourne of Dunkerrin, Co Offaly, formerly of Nenagh, Co Tipperary, who died in 1799 or so. The Offaly Bourne seems to have had four brothers and three sisters.

I would be glad to hear from anyone who knows anything about the Portlaw Bourne (or indeed any of the other Bournes). If you can help, please leave a Comment below.

 

 

The Deel navigation

The Deel linked the Co Limerick town of Askeaton to the south side of the Shannon Estuary. Here is a page about the navigation and some of its quays. Note that it is a long page with many maps and photos, although they’re all reduced in size to minimise the strain on tinterweb.

The Brosna: fish and mills

Two reports from Dr William O’Connor about fish on the Brosna here at Clara and here at Belmont. Both are mill sites, now generating electricity, and the difficulty lies in providing for fish to get past.

Mystery solved

Nobody tried the Spot the canal I set the other day, so I must now reveal that the eel weir shown is at the upper end of the Cong Canal. There are many photos and maps on that page.

Attack on the Suir

Three men were killed and several wounded in the attack on Mr Malcolmson’s boats, near Clonmel, on Thursday evening. The populace, it is believed, were instigated to plunder the flour from no other motive but that of absolute distress. Stones flew like hail on the boatmen and police who escorted the cargoes, but not until very severe hurts were received, did the latter fire among the crowd, and on the third volley they dispersed.

The Limerick Chronicle, Wednesday 16 May 1827

The Nore

Thomastown ~1840 (OSI)

Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, is offering a month-long programme of events from 1 June to 1 July 2012, including:

  • on 1 June, an evening with singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, Carrick-on-Suir poet Michael Coady hydroelectroacoustic ensemble The Water Project
  • on 3 June, a talk on the archaeology of the River Nore, which will include industrial, transport and commercial heritage
  • on 17 June, poems and talks on mapping the Nore and on the river’s role in the development of Thomastown
  • on 24 June, talks on cot fishing on the Three Sisters rivers and (by Shay Hurley of Clonmel) on the cot-builder Tom Cuddihy
  • on 1 July, the Thomastown Regatta, including cot racing and cot handling.

There will be exhibitions and other events during the month; download the brochure here [PDF]; read about the Thomastown Weir and the Thomastown Community River Trust here.

We recall that Samuel Lewis wrote of Thomastown in 1837:

A very considerable trade was formerly carried on, and the town was the commercial depot for the county of Kilkenny ; flat-bottomed boats of an aggregate burden of 11,000 tons were constantly employed in conveying goods from this town, besides many others which did not belong to it; but the river is now choked up with deposits of sand. Inistioge has become the head of the navigation of the Nore, and the boats employed on the river at this place do not exceed an aggregate burden of 150 tons; the goods are now conveyed on Scotch cars by land from Waterford to Kilkenny. The improvement of the navigation of the Nore would tend greatly to the revival and extension of the trade of the town, and to the development of the resources of the county, which is rich in marble, coal, culm, slate, and limestone, for which, in addition to its agricultural produce, it would afford facilities of conveyance to the neighbouring ports. It has been estimated that the clearing of the channel of the river, which would open the navigation from New Ross to this town for flat-bottomed steam-boats of 70 tons’ burden, might be accomplished at an expense of £15,000, and effect, by a reduction of the charges for freight and the discontinuance of land carriage, a saving of at least £10,000 per annum. There are several large flour-mills worked by water in the town and its vicinity, and also two breweries and a tan-yard.

An update on the Suir

I have updated my page about the River Suir above Carrick. I have added photos on some locations above Clonmel (Cahir, Athassel, Golden); I have also added a new section about the infrastructure of the navigation between Carrick and Clonmel. That section has benefited greatly from the information provided by Fred Hamond on the tour he organised for the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland earlier this year. Several of the photos taken on the tour show warm, sunny weather. They will also, I hope, help to draw attention to the delights of the Suir.

It’s not the bleeding Grand Canal

To Limerick City Council offices this evening, where the family of Cecil Mercier, Mill Manager of Bannatyne’s in Limerick and later supervisor of all Ranks mills in Ireland, were handing over his papers to the Limerick City Council Archive.

No photos of the Ranks boats that worked on the Shannon, alas, but perhaps there are some in the archives.

A booklet, Cecil Mercier & the Limerick Rank Mills, was distributed (free): an interesting account of the man and the industry. But it contains this sentence:

At the turn of the twentieth century there were other flour and animal feed mills in and around the city such as the Lock Mills at the junction of the Abbey River and the Grand Canal and the maize mills in Mount Kenneth and Mallow Street.

The canal in Limerick is one of five sections of the Limerick Navigation, and has recently been dubbed the Park Canal. It was not constructed by the Grand Canal Company. It was not owned by the Grand Canal Company. It was not operated by the Grand Canal Company. The only connection between that canal and the Grand Canal is that the Grand Canal Company was permitted to operate its boats on the route and was provided with premises at the canal harbour in Limerick. It put its name on the transhipment canopy, and perhaps that may have given people the mistaken idea that the Grand Canal Company owned the canal. But during the period when the GCC operated its boats, the canal was owned and operated by the Board of Works (Shannon Navigation).