Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Historical, Social, Technical
1755 - 1760
Freestanding round-plan tapered nine-stage smock windmill, built 1757, rebuilt 1805. Now disused. Copper ogee domed roof with figurative weather vane of Saint Patrick holding mitre and crozier to top. Brown brick walls with stepped brick eaves course, and brick and stone plinth course with moulded brick coping. Blind segmental-headed openings with brown brick voussoirs, openings partly blocked, with timber casement windows to top stage.
This structure was once the largest smock windmill in Europe and was built as part of the Roe whiskey distillery in 1757. Although it has lost its sails, it remains an iconic reminder of the industrial heritage of the area, particularly its extensive associations with the distilling and brewing industries. The Roe distillery was one of the predominant distillers in Dublin and merged with Jameson and the Dublin Whiskey Distillery to form the Dublin Distillers Company in 1889. A copper cupola with a figure of Saint Patrick was added to the tower in the late nineteenth century. The form and scale of this structure is of technical interest, while the brickwork is of a non-standard bond, presumably to accommodate both the curve and tapering walls. ‘Smock’ mills took their name from their resemblance to smocks worn by farmers in the Netherlands, where their construction originated. Prominently sited below Thomas Street, this building makes a striking contribution to the skyline.