Ice House, Ballina, Co. Mayo

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Where: Mayo, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Today we will leave politics aside for a while as we visit Ballina in Co. Mayo and a fabulous house on the banks of the beautiful Moy! I spent a lot of time there as a child but I must admit that this house does not register in my memories of the place.

Am glad however to say that, while my memory may be a little worse-for-wear, the building pictured still stands - confirmed by today's contributors to have been repurposed as a hotel. With thanks to B-59, BeachcomberAustralia, and Niall McAuley (and the entry in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage) we know that the building dates to (at least) the 1830s, and was further developed in the late 1850s. Originally a store and hub of the river's main salmon fishery, one imagines any ice found here now is used less for keeping fish from spoiling, and more for keeping drinks from warming...

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_07426

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 20549
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland icehouse icelandhouse rivermoy ballina comayo windows salmon countymayo fishery boathouse boats salmonfishery lawrencephotographcollection

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    • 22/Aug/2017 08:06:33

    Photo from 2008:

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    • 22/Aug/2017 08:28:45

    A little history - " ... Over 100 years ago, this historic building was a busy centre of enterprise exporting 40,000 salmon to Scotland annually. Throughout those guaranteed (pre-global warming) freezing winter days farmers from all over the area would pack tons of snow onto their horses and carts and draw them down in convoy to the Ice House. The ice would then be pushed down through an opening in the ground floor to the basement – at river level – which was known as Iceland. The aperture has been maintained in the renovated building and now looks down into the atmospheric restaurant. Overlooking the River Moy and its meandering and breathtaking estuary, the Ice House was built almost a decade before the Great Famine, in 1836, as the home of the fishery managers. It was composed of the living quarters, an ice store, workshop and boathouse for the fishery boats. ... " From -

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    • 22/Aug/2017 09:56:29

    Exporting salmon to Scotland sounds a bit coals to Newcastle.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Aug/2017 10:28:06

    NIAH 6" link shows Salmon Fishery Ice Ho.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Aug/2017 10:31:47

    From the NIAH link, this is after 1868: A house reconstructed by Mary Anne Lowther Little (d. 1868) widely accepted as a particularly important component of the domestic built heritage of the outskirts of Ballina with the architectural value of the composition, one retaining the vaulted footings of a "Salmon Fishery Ice House" marked on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1838; published 1839), confirmed by such attributes as the compact plan form centred on a somewhat featureless doorcase; the uniform or near-uniform proportions of the openings on each floor with those openings showing pretty cast-iron balconettes; and the miniature gablets embellishing a high pitched oversailing roofline.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Aug/2017 22:19:36

    Great! Thanks,, and Much appreciated. I've updated the map and notes!