Thursday, October 21, 2010

Michael Meade: Building Contractor extraordinaire, 1814-1886

Interred in the prestigious O'Connell circle at Glasnevin, building contractor Michael Meade was the founder of one of the most famous building firms in Dublin. Meade was known as a builder of note because his company was renowned for their good workmanship and the quality of the materials they used. Active from the late 1840s until the 1880s, Michael Meade built his business into a large and successful concern. He established sawing, planing and moulding mills in substantial premises on Great Brunswick Street, Dublin.

Among his many architectural triumphs was the building of St. Patrick's Church, Monkstown, an undertaking which took just over two years, a quick build even by modern standards. He also built the main house of what is now St. Michael's College. It was Michael Meade who called the house on the corner of Merrion and Ailesbury Road, St. Michael’s, long before it was a college. Modelled on Queen Victoria's residence, 'Osborne' on the Isle of Wight, it remains a fine example of Meade's work. Michael Meade also served as a JP (Justice of the Peace) for Dublin from around 1874. A statue of Archangel Michael dominates the tombstone of the Meade Family Vault. Michael Meade died 24 May 1886; his wife Bridget followed him to the grave two months later, 28 July 1886.

*Click on photos to view larger version.
All photographs ©Copyright J.Geraghty-Gorman 2010.
Reference: Thoms Directory, Dublin, 1862.
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