Reply To: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

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I’d like to correct the information currently used about the history of 119-122 Thomas Street. It is usually referred to as being constructed for Blanchardstown Mills, around 1890. In fact, it was built between 1871 and 1875 for McCabe Fay & Co., one of the largest wholesale grocers, spirit and tea dealers in Ireland at that time. This dating comes from an article in The Freeman’s Journal of 21.9.1887.

It had for many years been the Yellow Lion Inn, previously the Plough Inn. By the 1870’s it was ripe for re-development. An article in The Irish Times of 22.2.1875, describing the completion of the building, goes into some detail. As well as a ground floor warehouse, divided into sections according to the various goods sold, it had a dining room and accommodation for staff in the upper floors. The office area had red deal ceilings, iron columns and large windows. There were extensive wine cellars beneath the building, and according to the paper, “The staircase leading to the upper floors was elaborately constructed with ornamental balustrade of cast iron…”

The article also supplied useful information on the architect and builders.
“The whole of the buildings have been designed and carried out under the supervision of Mr. William Hague, FRIA, architect, of 41 Westland Row, Messrs. M Gahan and Son being the builders. Messrs. McFarlane, Smith and Co. have supplied the ornamental castings, and Mr William Daniel, of Mary Street, the plumbing and gasfitting.”

My family owned 119 + 124 Thomas St. for 150 years, auctioning them off in 1890. I assume that it was at that point that Blanchardstown Mills took it over.

I’ve passed this information on to Christine Casey, whose ‘Buildings of Ireland – Dublin’, is the usual source for the history of this building. I’ve also contacted Dublin Civic Trust and the Irish Architectural Archive. Ann Martha Rowan, of IAA, has added the details to its buildings database.

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