Search Results for 'Persses Distillery'
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For much of the 19th century, the Persse family ran one of the most successful distilleries in Ireland. Their product became world famous. They were major contributors to the industrial life of Galway and provided much needed employment. In addition to their staff, they were also supplied by a number of artisans working in the Nuns Island area — coopers, cork manufacturers, printers, carters, case makers, etc.
In 1840, the Joyce family offered their distillery at Galway for sale. It was described as follows: “That large and valuable distillery establishment at Nun’s Island, at presently occupied and worked by Messrs. James and Patrick Joyce. Within the walls that surround the distillery there is a mill to which there is a store capable of containing several thousand barrels of grain and two kilns, Queen’s warehouse spirit and barm store with various other offices and conveniences. The distillery contains a wash still of 5,000 gallons; a Low Wine still of 3,000 gallons; 3 brewing coppers fit to contain about 200 barrels each, 7 fermenting backs of 14,000 gallons each; One mash Kieve with machinery capable of mashing 200 barrels of grain, and a mill capable of grinding over that quantity daily.
This photograph is part of the Clonbrock Collection in the National Library, and was taken from the tower of St Nicholas’ Church in 1880, looking over Market Street. This panoramic view extends as far as the river. The chimney you see on the horizon was that of Persse’s Distillery. In the distance (you probably will not be able to see it in this reproduction) is the Clifden railway embankment running along the river bank. The building that is now the County Club is near the top left of the picture, the tower of the Mercy Convent near the top right.
In the 1600s trade tokens were given out by the Crown and were used as a royal licence to do business. If you were a trades or business merchant, you had to obtain this token. Some had dates on them and some had not. In Galway city and county there were 43 merchants listed in the period 1653-1679. By 1680, many of these tokens were replaced by the halfpenny copper coin.