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If you walk along the Fr. Griffin Road in Galway City, you might notice a small cast iron structure next to the Eglinton Canal. It looks like an iron cover on the road, but it is actually the remains of a weighbridge, a device that was used to measure the weight of goods and vehicles.

A weighbridge is essentially a large scale that consists of a platform, a lever, and a counterweight. The platform is where the goods or vehicles are placed, the lever connects the platform to the counterweight, and the counterweight balances the load on the platform. The weight of the load can be read from a dial or a pointer on the counterweight.

Weighbridges were common features in industrial and commercial areas, especially near ports, railways, and factories. They were used to weigh raw materials, finished products, livestock, coal, grain, and other commodities. They were also used to collect taxes and tolls based on the weight of goods.

The Fr. Griffin Road Weighbridge was installed in the late 19th or early 20th century by W.T. Avery Ltd, a British firm that specialized in weighing machines and instruments. The firm was founded in 1731 by James Ford, who started making scales and weights in Digbeth, Birmingham. The firm expanded over the years and became one of the leading manufacturers of weighing equipment in the world.

The weighbridge was located next to the Eglinton Canal and the site of a former corn mill. The canal was built between 1848 and 1852 to connect Galway Bay with Lough Corrib, facilitating trade and transport between Galway and other parts of Ireland. The corn mill was built in 1854 by John Holland, a local merchant and politician. The mill produced flour and animal feed from imported grain.

The weighbridge was used to weigh the grain that was delivered to the mill by boats or carts. It was also used to weigh the flour and feed that was produced by the mill and sold to customers. The weighbridge was an important part of Galway’s industrial and commercial heritage, as it reflected the economic activity and development of the city.

Today, the weighbridge is no longer in use, but it is still preserved as a historical monument. It is one of the few surviving examples of cast iron street furniture in Galway, and it is a reminder of the city’s past. The weighbridge is also a tribute to Fr. Michael Griffin, a priest who was killed by British forces during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. The road where the weighbridge is located was named after him in his honour.

The Fr. Griffin Road Weighbridge is a hidden gem that deserves more attention and appreciation from locals and visitors alike. It is not only a piece of engineering history, but also a symbol of Galway’s culture and identity.


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Fr. Griffin Road Weighbridge



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