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.
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.