Categories of Special Interest
1890 - 1900
Freestanding single-bay double-height former railway water tower (on rectangular-plan) associated with Glenties Railway Station (see 40837030), built c. 1895. Formerly surmounted by water tank, now removed. Now disused, in use as outbuilding. Flat concrete roof with remains of base of steel water tank with twisted remains of steel superstructure. Remains of cast-iron pipe to the south-east elevation. Roughly coursed and squared rubble limestone construction, mildly rock-faced in places, having flush dressed ashlar quoins (granite) to the corners. Modern cement rendered repairs in places. Brick-lined walls to interior. Square-headed doorway to the north-east elevation having dressed ashlar (granite) surrounds. Remains of former engine house adjacent to the south-west having rubble stone walls. Located adjacent to the south-west of former Glenties Railway Station (see 40837030), now a private house, and to the north\north-west of the centre of Glenties.
This former water tower, associated with the former Glenties Railway Station (see 40837030), retains its early form and character despite being out of use for a considerable period of time and the removal of the water tank. It represents an interesting historical reminder of the great age of stream railways from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, and it was originally used to replenish the water tanks of stream engines. The vaguely rock-faced masonry used in its construction is a typical feature of Victorian railway engineering and architecture in Ireland help give this building a robust presence for such a small-scale and unassuming building while the good-quality ashlar quoins and surrounds to the doorway illustrate the attention to detail afforded even the most functional structures at the time. The associated railway station was originally built as the terminus of the Stranorlar to Glenties Railway line, which opened on the 3rd of June 1895, and closed completely in 1952. It was originally built by the Donegal Railway Company (Finn Valley Railway) and later operated by the County Donegal Railways Joint Committee. It was built to the narrow gauge of 3-foot. The Congested District Board supported the establishment of this railway line, which helped to open up vast tracks of Donegal to new commercial, social and economic opportunities. The service was in operation four times daily and the journey from Glenties to Stranorlar took one hour. Diesel locomotives came into use on the line in the 1920s rendering water towers obsolete. The line closed in the 1950s due to increasingly competition from road hauliers and the loss of passenger trade to bus services and motor cars. This former water tower forms a pair of related structures with the associated with the railway station (see 40837030), and a wider group associated with this former narrow gauge railway line in north-west Donegal, and is integral element of the built heritage, and social, economic, and transport history of the Glenties area.