Sligo’s Port was once a bustling and thriving place with ships taking passengers and cargo to England, America and Canada. Warehouses were built close to the docks to store goods for export and imported cargo. While an Excise building stored imported goods until excise duties were paid. In the later nineteenth century, Middleton and Pollexfen steamships travelled to Glasglow and Liverpool from the port. After World War 2, there was a decline in port traffic as improved infrastructure made transport by road faster with trucks replacing ships.
Pictured is the former Harper Campbell stores warehouse on the Sligo docks, a part of Sligo’s industrial heritage. According to NIAH, it is a seven by four-bay four-storey reinforced-concrete flat-roofed former Maize Mill and Grain Silo, built 1905. In the last few years it was used as warehouse for a food distribution company.
“An imposing building of national importance forming the centrepiece of an industrial complex located on Deep Water Berths Road in Sligo Town. An innovative construction system developed by François Hennebique in 1892 was used in the design of this warehouse.The builiding is one of the earliest surviving examples of the Hennebique system on the island of Ireland. Advanced construction techniques are masked by rendered details, producing a strikingly Modern geometric design, a distinctive feature in the landscape of Sligo Quays.”
In 2006, the then owner had applied for planning permission to convert the main building and the barrel roof shaped Canada Dry warehouse into apartments with retail shops on the ground floor. The building was placed on the protected structure list. The current owners Aurvivo who own the nearby Homeland garden stores on the Quays wanted it removed from the protected structure, which was refused. The Sligo Quays area is due a rejuvenation, with the new Lidl supermarket and Baker boys cafe recently opened in the area, it would be great to see this building put back into use. It has great views of Benbulben mountain and Sligo bay.
Architectural heritage source: NIAH