Greyscale ink wash drawing of the façade of a large building on the Blarney Estate, with scale in feet.
Inscribed in Image
|Genre||Scientific or Technical illustration|
|Dimensions||7.6 cm x 22.8 cm|
|Published / created||1780|
|Travel Account||A Tour in Ireland [Young; copy with unique drawings]|
|Print or manuscript|
|Location of image in copy||opp. p. 260|
|Source copy||National Library of Ireland LO 10203|
|Rights||Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland|
Related text from travel account
|September 15th, to Blarney Castle, S. J. Jefferys, Esq; of whose great works in building a town at Blarney, I cannot give so particular an account as I wish to do; for I got there just as he and his family were on the point of setting out for France. I did not however let slip the time I had for making some enquiries, and found that in 1765, when Mr. Jefferys began to build this town, it consisted only of two or three mud cabins; there are now 90 houses. He first established the linen manufactory, building a bleach-mill, and houses for weavers, &c. and letting them to manufacturers from Corke, who have been so successful in their works, as to find it necessary to have larger and more numerous edifices, such as a large stamping mill for printing linens and cottons, to which is annexed another bleach-mill, and since there has been a third erected; the work carried on is that of buying yarn, and weaving it into linens, ten pence to thirty pence white; also diapers, sheeting, ticking, and linens and cottons of all sorts printed here, for common use and furniture. These several branches of the linen, employ 130 looms, and above 300 hands.
Another of Mr. Jefferys objects has been the stocking manufacture, which employs 20 frames, and 30 hands, in buildings erected by him; the manager employing, by covenant, a certain number of apprentices, in order by their being instructed, to diffuse the manufactory. Likewise a woollen manufactory, a mill for milling, tucking, &c. broad cloths; a gigg mill for glossing, smoothing, and laying the grain; and a mill for knapping, which will dress above 500 pieces a year, but will be more, when some alterations now making are finished. A leather mill for dressing shamoy, buck, or skins, fully employed. A large bolting mill, just finished, and let for 132l. a year. A mill, annexed to the same, just finishing, for plating; and a blade mill for grinding edged tools. A large paper mill, which will be finished this year. He has been able to erect this multiplicity of mills, thirteen in all, by an uncommon command of water.
The town is built in a square, composed of a large handsome inn, and manufacturers houses, all built of excellent stone, lime, and slate. A church, by the first fruits, and liberal addition of above 300l. from Mr. Jefferys. A market-house, in which are sold a hundred pounds worth of knit stockings per week. Four bridges, which he obtained from the county, and another (the flat arch) to which he contributed a considerable sum. Much has been done, yet is not the design near finished.
To shew the magnitude of these works, and the degree of public good resulting from them, I shall mention the expence at which they have been executed. Respecting the principal bleach mill, Messrs. Forest and Donnoghue, under the linen act, took 15 acres, at a guinea an acre, upon which they have expended 5000l. in erecting a linen mill and bleach green, twenty-five houses for twenty-five weavers families, four looms in [p. 260] each house, a large dwelling-house for themselves or their director; in each house a man, his wife, three apprentices, two girls and two boys, besides young infants. In a short time the farm was increased, and land, which before had only brought half a guinea, then let for a guinea. The linen board advanced 500l. to this work, and Mr. Jefferys repaid them 1400l. of the 5000l. The old rent of the premises was 40l. a year, the new rent 71l. Another bleach mill, which cost Mr. Jefferys 300l. to which the board added 300l. and the person to whom it is let, 600l. 40 acres of land, formerly let at 10l. a year, go with them. The whole rent now 80l. To this mill is since added an oat-mill, which cost 300l. two tuck-mills, 200l. a leather mill and kilns, 150l. two dwelling-houses, 300l. A stamping-mill, which cost Mr. Jefferys 2,300l. to which the board added 300l. promising 1000l. more when the works should be finished, which they have been these two years. Twelve printing tables are kept going, and sixty-five hands employed. Twelve printers. Twelve tire boys. Three print cutters. Eighteen bleachmen. Six pencillers. Two tubmen. One clerk. One callender. One manager. Two draughtsmen. Four coppermen. Three carters. Besides the above sums, the manufacturer has laid out 500l. The quantity of land occupied is 25 acres: old rent, 6l. 10s. new, 113l. 15s.
A stocking factory, for which Mr. Jefferys lent 200l. The man laid out 300l. himself; he occupies 50 acres, before let at 20l. a year; now at 76l. 11s. A gigg-mill, for which Mr. Jefferys lent 300l. till repaid by the Dublin Society, who granted 300l. towards it, and the tenant laid out 200l. the quantity of land he has is eleven acres, let at 5l. 10s. now at 361.
A manufactory of tape is established, by which means 6 acres of land are advanced, from 2l. 8s. to 9l. They have three looms going, which makes 102 pieces a day of 36 yards each. The Dublin Society gave 20l. to it. A paper mill, which has cost Mr. Jefferys 1100l. and is not yet let. A bolting mill on which he has expended 1100l. the tenant 500l. on adding an iron mill. Twenty acres of land, rent before 9l. 10s. rent of the whole now 132l. 13s. The church has cost .Mr. Jefferys 500l. and the first fruits 500l. more. The new inn, 250l. and the tenant 300l. more. Seventy acres of land, before at 20l. a year, now at 83l. 9s. A dwelling-house, 250l. to which the tenant added 500l. Ninety acres of land, before let at 54l. the new rent is 74l. Twelve cottages, and a lime-kiln, which cost 280l. Two dwelling-houses and a forge, which cost him 150l. and to which parliament granted 250l. more. Upon the whole, therefore, Mr. Jefferys has expended 7,630l. in these establishments. Of public money there has been added 2,170l. and the tenants themselves laid out 9,050l. in all, expended here 18,850l. besides what Mr. Jefferys laid out on bridges &c. in the whole, very near, if [p. 261] not full, 20,000l. upon matters of a public nature. In all these establishments, he has avoided undertaking or carrying on any of the manufactures upon his own account, from a conviction that a gentleman can never do it without suffering very considerably. His object was to form a town, to give employment to the people, and to improve the value of his estate by so doing; in all which views it must be admitted, that the near neighbourhood of so considerable a place as Corke very much contributed: the same means which he has pursued would, in all situations, be probably the most adviseable, though the returns made might be less advantageous. Too much can scarcely be said in praise of the spirit with which a private gentleman has executed these works, which would undoubtedly do honour to the greatest fortune.
To animate others to tread in such laudable steps, I may remark, that even the profit of these undertakings is too much to be entirely forgotten; the expences are by no means barren ones; 327 acres let before these works at 167l. 18s. let afterwards at 682l. 8s. Profit 508l. 10s. without reckoning any thing for two dwelling-houses, a forge, twelve cottages, and a lime-kiln, which may moderately be reckoned at 25l. a year, and yet let at rents of favour, in all 533l. 10s. which from 7630l. is 7 per cent. There, however, is no agriculture improvement that would not, with much greater certainty of continuance, pay 17. At the same time, however, there is a greater reversionary advantage in the benefit resulting from the increasing of the rents at the expiration of the leases, upon undertaking these works, the longest of which is for no more than three lives. Another advantage which is felt already, is the rise in the prices of products at Blarney, which is a direct premium to agriculture, to the farmer, and to the landlord. Dairy cows, on all the adjacent farms, arose in two years from 3l. to 4l. a cow, as the weavers were happy to get milk and butter at the same price it sold for in Corke. The same rise took place on corn, potatoes, &c. Mr. Jefferys, besides the above establishments, has very much improved Blarney Castle and its environs; he has formed an extensive ornamented ground, which is laid out with considerable taste; an extensive plantation surrounds a large piece of water, and walks lead through the whole; there are several very pretty sequestered spots where covered benches are placed. [pp. 259-261]