by mariocorrigan on November 20, 2007

Some thoughts on the industrial heritage of Monasterevin
Barry Walsh
Cassidy’s Distillery
I want to make particular mention of the domed keeve behind the main  building  which is not visible from the road. As a structure I believe it is unique.  Its purpose was apparently to store the turf used to fire the boilers. Folk memory maintains that the dome was constructed using as a form a huge  clamp of turf.
Across the road from the distillery is Cassidy’s Brewery where St. Patrick’s Pale Ale was brewed. At the rear in what is now a private garden is the cooling pond (filled in) with its network of hot water pipes used to cool water from the industrial processes.
The pond was fed by a stream that flows down Drougheda Row. The stream deserves mention a it is under threat of being piped by the Council. It is however an important out‑work of the Distillery. The stream runs under Dublin Street (the N7) and splits into two branches which enter the River Barrow either side of the Town Bridge. One branch drove a waterwheel inside Cassidy’s the other was
used to control the flow of water.
Samuel E. Holmes Engineering
Occuipying the site of the distillery the Engineering works also have industrial archaeological importance as a record of mechanical engineering in Ireland from the 1920’s to the 90’s. Holmes did a variety of engineering work including war work for the Irish government during the Emergency, production of surgical scapels for opthalmic surgeons and pumps for the US Navies research
Gas Production
Before electricty there was of course gas which had to be manufactured locally. One such gas works was behind Cassidy’s and provided gas for Moore Abbey house.
Malt Houses
The preparation of malt in malt houses was an important industry associated with distilling. Several malt houses survive in Monasterevin.
The Factory Field
Now Ard Evin estate this was a quarry used for clay. The clay was for a chemical industry use rather than brick making or other.
Kinitware industry in Monasterevin occupied several buildings which were either constructed for the purpose or converted.
As an example of modern idustrial i.e. second half of the 20th century the Glanbia creamery should be noted as well as bulk milk handling and storage there are the grain drying and storage silos at the back.
Gravel Quarrying
To the north of the town along the esker line have been several gravel quarries.
Limestone and shale Quarrying
Before the planting of Moore Abbey Wood the hill which is a limestone outcrop was extensively quarried.
Turf production
Although not carried out on an "industrial scale" the bogs around Monasterevin supplied industries such as Cassidy’s. In addition the first briquet works was located in the Ballykelly area.
Electrical Production
Pre ESB the town was elecrified from several privately run power houses one of these was on the site of the present Credit Union and severed the Canal end of the town. I believe that Moore Abbey converted from gas to electricity and the power house may have been near the gasworks.
 B.C. Walsh
Secretary & Webmaster at MHS
Monasterevin Historical Society

When we were looking for information on the Industrial Heritage of Co. Kildare Liam Kenny received a detailed response from Barry Walsh of the Monasterevin Local History Group. Our thanks to Barry  

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