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British Industrial History

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Ringsend Iron Works

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of Dublin

1833 Advertisement: 'VALUABLE CONCERNS, with STEAM-ENGINE and FOUNDRY connected with various branches of the IRON TRADE, BOILER AND BOAT-BUILDING, &c.
MR CLARKE is willing to treat for the SALE of his WORKS at RINGSEND, where a most extensive Manufactory has been established for upwards of thirty years,
From the advantages of their situation, being close to a large city, and adjoining the River, the Docks, and the site of the Railroad (now in progress) possess capabilities which would enable business to be carried on to any extent; and being at present in full operation, and with a valuable connexion, offer to a Purchaser prospects and facilities rarely to be met with. They Include
An IRON FOUNDRY, 135 feet long, furnished with powerful Cranes, a capacious Drying stove, two large Air Furnaces and two Cupellos, blown by the Steam Engine.
A BRASS and BELL FOUNDRY, with Reverberating and Pot Furnaces.
A MILL of THREE STORIES, containing a 12-horse Steam Engine with two Boilers; a large Self-acting Planing Machine, several Common and Slide Lathes, Boring, Screw-cutting, Drilling, and Screwing Machinery; a very large and powerful Vertical Engine for Boring Cylinders. with Engineers' and Millwrights' Workshops, and Model Lofts.
A WORKSHOP for BOILER MAKERS, with powerful Cutting and Punching Engines, worked by a Steam Engine.
There is also a most complete RANGE of FORGES, and extensive Lofts, Warehouses, Offices, Stabling, &c., forming altogether one of the most desirable Establishments In the the kingdom. The entire is lighted with Gas, which is made on the Premises.
Apply (if by letter, post paid) to JAMES WEST, Esq., No. 9 Capel-street, Dublin.' [1]

Valuable Machinery and Implements FOR SALE, and well-circumstanced Foundry Concerns, and Dwelling House, &c.
MR. C. BENNETT has received instructions from the Trustees under a certain settlement, to submit to PUBLIC AUCTION, at the Royal Exchange Rooms. Dublin, Thursday the 9th day of February next, at one o'clock precisely, in one lot—the entire valuable MACHINERY, MOULDS, and WORKING IMPLEMENTS appertaining to the Engineering, Boiler Building and Foundry departments of the RINGSEND IRON WORKS, in the county of the city of Dublin, which are capable of executing the heaviest description of work, and at present in full and efficient use.
Also at the same time and place, for account of the present Proprietor, who is retiring from business, the extensive BUILDINGS and PREMISES, which the Machinery is erected, together with an excellent Dwelling House, Offices, Stables, large walled-in Garden, &c. will be LET by AUCTION, at the best improved annual rent, without a fine, for an unexpired term of 63 years.
Those desirable Premises have a numerous and respectable connexion attached; they possess an abundant and never-failing supply of water from the river Dodder, and are situate convenient to the Port of Dublin, Canals, Railroads, &c. presenting to Engineers of moderate capital embarking, or those desirous to extend their trade, an opportunity seldom, if ever, to be met with.
The purchaser of the Machinery, &c. will meet with a preference, and have a decided advantage in becoming Lessee, as the Promises and Machinery are peculiarly adapted to each other. For further particulars, cards view, catalogue of Machinery, &c. and terms of sale, applications to be made by letter, (if post paid) to J. West, Esq. 9, Capel-street, or to the Auctioneer, Royal Exchange, Dublin.' [2]

1838 Advertisement: 'Ringsend Foundry and Iron Works. (Formerly Clarke's.)
These Concerns having been recently purchased by the present Proprietors, they have for some time been engaged In improvements and additions to the machinery, and premises. They expect to commence work in a few days, and are now ready to receive orders.
The great capabilities of these Concern for executing Castings, their extensive and varied collection of Models, and the facilities afforded in the fitting shops by numerous Lathes, Screwing Machines. Boring Engine, &c., will enable the Proprietors to perform in a prompt and efficient manner works of every description in the Steam Engine, Steam Boiler, and Millwright Departments.
The Business will be carried on under the firm of THE RINGSEND IRON COMPANY,
Orders received by Frederick Barrington at the premises, and communications made to James or Henry Perry. Pill-lane; or Edward Barrington, Great Britain-street, will receive Immediate attention.'[3]

1842 Advertisement: 'FIRST IRON STEAM-BOAT BUILT IN IRELAND. The chairman of the Board of Works, Sir John Burgoyne, and Colonel Jones, Commissioner of the Shannon Navigation ; J. P. Rhodes, Esq., civil engineer, with a number of scientific gentlemen and others connected with the trade and shipping of the port of Dublin, were invited on Monday to see the first iron steam-boat that has been attempted to be built in Ireland, and which is now on the stocks at the Ringsend Iron Works. The vessel is intended, when the Shannon Navigation is complete, to ply on the Shannon between Athlone and Portumna, and is expected to accomplish the journey, back and forward within each day. The length of her deck is 130 feet; the length of her beam 17 feet 6 inches; depth of hold at shaft 8 feet 6 inches; breadth over all 37 feet. She will be worked by two engines of forty horse power each, and her cabins will be fitted up with every regard to the comfort and convenience of the passengers. After the vessel had been thoroughly inspected both as to its interior and exterior, the visitors were politely invited to partake of a dejeuner, hospitably prepared by Messrs. James and H. Perry and F. Barrington, the highly respectable proprietors of the Ringsend Iron Works.' [4]

1846 'LAUNCH OF AN IRON STEAM-SHIP. The launch of the iron steam-ship Shamrock took place on Thursday morning, at eleven o'clock, from Mr. Frederick Barrington's Iron Works, Ringsend, Dublin. This beautiful vessel, intended for the London and Dublin trade, was built for the British and Irish Steam Packet Company. She is to be impelled on the new principle, by an engine of thirty-horse power working a screw in her stern. The Shamrock measures on the keel 125, in the beam 21, and her depth of hold is 13 feet. Her tonnage by measurement is about 270; her capacity for cargo is estimated at about 400 tons. She has been about six months in hands; and if we consider that she is the first vessel of her class ever constructed in Dublin, it must be admitted that this time is extremely short. In her construction every modern improvement has been introduced which could add to her strength or safety. The Shamrock has been removed to the Ringsend Floating Dork, where she will take in her engines, also manufactured in the same establishment. She will be also rigged here and completed for sea.' [5]

1850 'Application of the Screw Propeller to Inland Navigation.—On Saturday last there was launched from the ironworks of Mr. Frederick Barrington, at Ringsend, a large iron canal boat, sixty feet long by twelve feet beam, and six feet depth of hold, the first of a number which it is understood the directors of the Grand Canal Company propose to have built for the carrying trade of that navigation, and which will be propelled by the screw worked by adequate steam power. The machinery for this purpose, and which will be introduced into the boat now launched, has been manufactured by Mr. J. Inshaw, of Birmingham, an ingenious mechanical engineer, who has devoted much time and attention to the subject. The boat, with the machinery complete, is expected to be ready for work upon the Grand Canal in two or three weeks. A second boat, of similar dimensions, and which will in like manner be worked by the screw propeller, has, we are informed, been built for the Canal Company, in London, under the direction of Mr. John Scott Russell, by the well-known firm of Robinsons (sic) and Russell in which he is a partner. The boat is expected shortly to arrive Dublin, and to be also immediately placed on the canal for the carrying trade of the company. Considerable interest is felt by parties connected with the canal and by many scientific persons the results of the experiment so made the directors of the company, and which will be now speedily ascertained.—Saunders News Letter.' [6]. Note: Much more information about these two boats may be found in the Irish Waterways History website [7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Liverpool Mercury, 19 April 1833
  2. Aris's Birmingham Gazette, 23 January 1837
  3. Dublin Evening Mail, 9 February 1838
  4. Freeman's Journal, 1 September 1842
  5. London Standard, 31 March 1846
  6. Worcestershire Chronicle, 4 December 1850
  7. [1] 'Steam on the Grand Canal' on the Irish Waterways History website