Boland’s Bakery Mill is located at the intersection of Barrow Street and Pearce Street beside Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock. This area has recently become one of the most popular locations in Ireland for domestic and international companies to establish offices. Facebook and Google are just some of the recent additions to the area, resulting in both commercial and residential properties being in high demand.
Boland’s Mill, along with the Four Courts and the General Post Office (GPO), was one of the most significant sites during the 1916 Easter Rising. Though the 1916 Rising was a complete failure in terms of actual results, it was seen as a major turning point in the Irish struggle for independence from British rule. Boland’s Mill was chosen as a headquarters for the Irish volunteers due to its proximity to the railway track and main road from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire). The port is about thirteen kilometers south of the city center where British would arrive before traveling into the city.
The volunteers took over the Mill on Easter Monday but there was very little action at the site until the following Thursday when the British shelled the Mill from the gunship Helga.
Following the 1916 Rising, the Mill returned to production until 2001, when Boland’s merged with the Jacob’s Brand and production was moved to Tallaght.
Prior to the collapse of the Irish property market, Versus Limited had realized the potential for development in the area and acquired the Boland’s Mill site for €41 million ($55,750,000). The company planned to renovate the Mill and develop a number of apartments, houses and over thirteen thousand square meters of office space.
Subsequent to collapse of the property market, the parent company of Versus Limited, Benton Property Holdings, went into receivership in 2010. Boland’s Mill then came under the control of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the agency established in the midst of the Irish economic crisis to manage the properties of failed real estate development companies.
Little has been done to the site since NAMA took control of the Mill; however in May 2014, in response to the recent upturn in the Dublin property market and the huge demand for office space in the Grand Canal Dock, An Bord Pleanála approved a fast track planning process to allow for five different development hubs, one of which being Boland’s Mill.
Although a new plan for the Mill is yet to be proposed, hopefully the site’s Mill history will be respected and enhanced.
How have historical sites in your city been preserved or repurposed? Which historical preservation site is your favorite?
Credits: Images by Rebecca Mullen. Data linked to sources.