Project Description

Market House – Mullingar

Description of Works

Project Clock Tower, Market Hous, Mullingar
Programme of Works Weeks
Client Westmeath County Council
  1. All works intend to be carried out using the principal of minimum intervention and to
    restore rather than replace where possible. Any replacement materials were
    replaced on a like-for-like basis.
    The works included:
    I. Erected a scaffold to provide full access to the affected area
    II. Cleaned out the existing rubble and dirt build up within the tower.
    III. Surveyed the existing structure.
  2. Carefully removed the timber sheeting and louvered openings on the tower
    facades and sections of existing rotten timber, spliced in new sections of
    hardwood timber in their place where sections were decayed beyond repair.
  3. Decay in frame ends were cut out and new matching sections wood of class 1
    durability were spliced in.
  4. Cleaned/Stripped down all remaining timber, sand, fill defects and holes, refit,
    re-paint with 2No. coats of Zinsser oil based wood primer, 2No. undercoats
    coats of high quality exterior weatherproof wood paint (oil based and 10-year
    guarantee). 2 satin finish coat of paint to architect’s choice of colour.
  5. Cleaned and restored weathervane and clock face.
  6. Repaired slipped leadwork to southern elevation, clipped and nailed all lead
    aprons and cills to ensure no further slippage. All repairs to lead works were
    carried out in accordance with “Lead Development Association” guidelines.
  7. Installed a new metal ladder to the lower tower metal bracing to allow access
    for future maintenance and a timber bridge from the tower to the main roof.

Project Summary

Clock Tower and Market House History

The louvered timber clock tower, built in 1867, is the central feature of the two storey, eight-bay former Market House, located on the market square in the centre of Mullingar Town. The tower sits above an advanced two-bay pedimented breakfront to the centre of the main façade and has a square plan. The timber framed tower is clad with vertical slating where it meets the pitched roof of the breakfront and is sheeted with painted hardwood timber on the upper section. The tower is capped with a low-pitched pyramidal lead roof topped with a decorative weathervane. A stokes single dial clock is integrated into the northern face of the tower and overlooks the Market Square.

Market House

Designed by William Caldbeck (1824-72) and rebuilt for Lord Greville in 1867, the market house is built on the site of an earlier market house, built c.1730, and it is possible judging from the slightly cluttered appearance and the unbalanced proportions of the openings that this building may be a remodelling of this earlier building. As observed in the historic maps (Appendix A), the earlier market house was sited slightly to the north of the present edifice and the existing front wall would have been close to the site of the rear wall of the former market house. This earlier market house was described in 1815 as ‘a two-storey block with eight large gateways’, which is not unlike its present aspect. This building was in use as a wool store in the late nineteenth-century and is now home to the Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and the Tourist Office. It remains an important element of the built heritage of Mullingar and is an appealing feature building in the centre of the town.

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