Main Street Midleton about 1900. The Market House (1789) is on the left with the town clock in the cupola on the roof.
Today at 2.30 pm a group of us set off from the Library (formerly the Market House) to view some sites associated with aspects of Midleton’s commercial and industrial heritage. I suspect a few eyes were opened – but I must say one or tow knew their stuff. And why not – they were dyed-in-the-wool natives of Midleton. I hope they enjoyed the tour!
I wish to put on record my gratitude to all those who helped organize the various events, especially the staff at Midleton Library and at MYPlace, as well as the shopkeepers who displayed the posters and last, but not least, all the members of the public who attended the two lectures and who came along for the two tours of the town. Well done to everybody – and clearly someone was smiling on us – the tours enjoyed lovely warm and dry weather!
It was nice to see other places celebrate Heritage Week too – Youghal, Cloyne Cathedral, Carrigtwohill and Ladysbridge in particular,
Now I wonder what the Heritage Council will propose as the theme for Heritage Week 2016? Check out this blog for details of next year’s Heritage Week – when the details are available.
Now converted into apartments, Allin’s Mill, or Midleton Mill, may stand on the site of the old monastic mill. it was established to supply grain to Cork and England in the 1820s in the wake of the Corn Laws.
About twenty people joined our tour of Midleton’s commercial and industrial heritage today at 2.30 pm. Starting at the Library (the Market House of 1789) we proceeded to Church Lane (site of the old butter market) then up Main Street to Old Bank House (former Munster Bank) and on to the Munster and Leinster Bank (now AIB). On the Clonmult Monument island we discussed the Fair Green, Allin’s mill, Hackett’s distillery and the railway from Cork to Youghal. Down the eastern side of Main Street we assembled in Connolly Street (former Charles St) to discuss the changing businesses in the town from 1824 to 1856 and then in 1881. This was followed by a stroll to the Pugin building (former Midleton Arms Hotel/McDaid’s pub), a look at Brodrick Street (site of Midleton Gasworks and JJ Coffey & Sons, builders), and into the former Coppinger’s brewery. Then at the entrance to Distillery Walk we examined Coppinger’s grain stores and the old distillery, previously Marcus Lynch’s wool factory of 1793). We finished up by discussing the first bank in Midleton (the National Bank of Ireland at the Rock, run by the Coppingers).
Despite the best efforts of Met Eireann to scare everyone off with horrible weather warnings, it turned out to be a lovely day for a walk – the best of the sunshine coming as we walked back down the Main Street.
I’d like to thank everyone who turned up today. You helped to kick off Heritage Week 2015 in Midleton in fine style! The vintage cars motoring to Carrigtwohill were an unexpected bonus!
Other events during the week include:
‘…a good market for flesh…and fish…’ – the Commercial and Industrial history of Midleton and Ballinacurra, 1608-1948. Public local history lecture, Wednesday, 26 August at 2.00pm in Midleton Library.
From Mainistir na Corann to Midleton, 1177-1670. Public local history lecture, Thursday, 27 August at 8.00pm in MyPlace, Midleton.
Discover the Commerical and Industrial Heritage of Midleton. Walking tour, Sunday, 30 August at 2.30pm. Meeting at the Library.