Mr. Pollock’s Farm Steadings, Residence and Other Works, Co. Galway

Extract from The Dublin Builder Nov. 1st 1859

The monster steadings erected by Mr. Pollock on his estates in the County Galway, have acquired a world-famed celebrity for that gentleman, and the following is a general description of on of the Fourteen completely finished since July 1856, when the first stone was laid. The main building covers an area of 3320 square yards roofed in: the barn, straw house, and steaming house are at end, measuring 176 feet by 24 feet in the clear, with two ranges of granaries, sheaf barn, and straw houses above. The sheaf barn is 64 feet by 24 feet, and is supplied with a threshing machine, driven by a water wheel, which also works a bone mill. In another part of the building, a pair of millstones, a straw cutter, oil cake bruiser, a pair of fanners in each granary and a force pump, supplying a cistern 38 feet above ground level, and containing 2,400 gallons.

At right angles to barn, and nearly in its centre, it is bisected by a transept 199 feet long by 24 feet wide and 22 feet high. The roof and sidewalls of second floor of transept are supported by metal pillars and trussed girders. The ground floor of the transept is a through passage, and turnip and root store for feeding purposes. Twelve feet high above the passage is a loft the whole length of transept, and 24 feet wide, part being a hayloft, and the remainder stores for cut hay, bran, oats, oilcake, grass seeds etc.

The four angles included in barn and transept are each enclosed and roofed and subdivided for cattle etc. The respective size of each angle are as follows: - 95 feet by 72 feet and 64 feet by 58 feet on one side of barn and 64 feet by 72 feet and 64 feet by 58 feet on the other, each 12 feet high from door to under side of the barn. Two adjacent angles on right and left of barn and each side of transept – viz. 95 by 72 feet – are each arranged for 232 tied-up feeding cattle and have stalls feeding passages and fire clay feeding troughs. The other two angles right and left of barn and on the west side of transept – viz. 95 by 58 feet on the one side and 64 by 58 feet on the other – are subdivided as follows:- in the large angle is the stable, for 19 horses in stalls, and 16 in loose boxes, also 6 loose boxes for bullocks, each box to hold two. In one of the angles of this square is the steward’s or caretaker’s lodge, containing kitchen, parlour and closet on ground floor, and two bedrooms above and which, though contained within the square, is completely disconnected from the interior by a high wall with a small window for surveillance.

The other side of square – viz. 64 by 58 feet – is subdivided into 8 loose boxes, for two cattle each, a large bone store with bone mill, blacksmith’s forge and carpenter’s workshop. The whole is principally lighted from the roof, although sidelights are used where they could be put in with propriety. On the roofs and sides of transepts are 52 louvre board ventilators, ensuring free current of fresh air through the whole establishment. Owing to the extra height of the walls (12 feet) and roof and space above the cattle there is no extra current of cold air in any particular part of the whole house when fully filled with cattle and horses (which it has been during the last two seasons and is now filled the third time) there is always a uniformity of temperature through the whole.

There are 1,740 superficial square yards of timber flooring and 4,200 yards of slating. The roofs on this and all the other buildings on Mr. Pollock’s estate are all sheeted with sheeting nailed on to horizontal purline which gives the inside a neat clean and comfortable appearance and also keeps the houses cooler and a uniform ventilation - every joint of the sheeting and every joint of the slating being a ventilator on a small scale. The whole roofing is supported with 36 metal pillars, 12 feet high, each pillar answering the double purpose of pillar and down pipe for roof water. Connected with said pillars are 390 feet of cast iron gutters, which answer both for gutters and roof girders: also 920 feet of eave gutters, 850 feet of lead valley and 240 feet of down pipe, 65 roof lights, 55 side lights and 20 outside doors. The steading is lighted up with Messer Edmunds and Co.’s (Capel Street) hydro – carbon gas in upwards of 60 bat wing jets, in glass lanterns all in suitable places through the whole building, presenting an imposing scene when all is lighted up and upwards of 300 cattle contentedly but busily eating-up their last meal for the night, with all the light and shade of roof and pillars and the various colours of the cattle.

The main building is walled all round and enclosed by and open shed inside, 1,100 feet long by 14 feet wide and between main building and surrounding shed three is an area of 24 feet wide on three sides and 70 feet wide on the fourth dies, in which there are two large dung-pits and liquid-tank. There is only one main entrance onto yard and main building and one from stack-yard into second story of barn, which is on a level with the stack-yard. All the large stack-yard is fitted up with iron stack-stands, arranged for iron tramways from stacks into barn. One half of the surrounding sheds are divided into 10 loose boxes for 2 bullocks each box, and 3 loose boxes for bulls, and pens for 140 store cattle; one half of the remaining half are cart-sheds, harness and tool room, pay-office and weighing-office and the remaining half of this subdivision consists of grain-store, poultry-house, implement-store, water-closet, and glass retort-house. The whole extent of ground floorage of surrounding shed is 1,711 superficial square yards. The total ground taken up with buildings is 8,450 superficial square yards, the total of all the roofs is 7,555 superficial square yards, total of al ground floors 5,050 superficial square yards and 1,750 square yards of timber floors. The total cubical contents of all buildings are 56,224 cubic feet- the actual cost of the whole being under 2d per cubic foot. Five fire plugs are placed throughout and two hoses are provided in the event of accident.

In addition to the above works a large dwelling house, in the Elizabethan style, has been erected for the proprietor; also 8 farmhouses, a large flour and oatmeal mill, with store and house for miller, 2 carpenter’s shops and blacksmiths’ forger, 2 saw-mills, 7 steam thrashing-mills, 4 limekilns, 40 stewards’, tradesmen’s and labourers’ cottages – comprising upwards of 40 miles of stone walls. The plans and specification were made and the work superintended by Mr. William Maxelll, of Ballinasloe, by whom the above particulars have been communicated.