1834 – Hammersmith Ironworks, Ballsbridge, Dublin




Described in Lewis “A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland” as “Near the village are the Hammersmith iron-works, established in 1834 by Mr. R. Turner: the front of this extensive establishment is 200 feet long, presenting a handsome facade towards the road; and at the back are numerous dwelling-houses for the workmen, which are called the Hammersmith cottages.”

Turner was responsible for some of the finest glasshouses in Ireland and the United Kingdom – including the fabulous Curvilinear Range at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin; and a magnificent range at Kew Gardens in London. He was in much demand, working on projects from conservatories for the rich to railway platform sheds. The ironworks moved to North King Street in 1876.

The site was broken up over time. A large section to the rear on Shelbourne Road was sold to become a Vetinarary School run by Trinity College and UCD. Hammersmith House was eventually also sold to the school and the site rebuilt as offices in the 1950s. The main bulk of the ironworks became the site of Hume House, an appalling office development in the 1970s. Even the worker’s cottages are gone, mostly demolished in the 1970s.