18 October-Thompson of Carlow

Thompson of Carlow is an engineering firm based in Carlow town, Ireland. It is one of the longest established steel fabricators and builders of truck bodies in Ireland. An Original Equipment Manufacturer, well known for its ability to meet new challenges, Thompson has recently fabricated Wave Motion Machines for Openhydro. The machines are used to generate electricity from tidal waves.

Thomas Thompson established the original company in 1878. Carlow gaol, which was built in 1800, was purchased by Thompson following its closure in 1897. He subsequently based his engineering business, Hanover Works, in the old gaol. The firm initially manufactured items such as farm machinery, turbines and haulage wagons. During World War I ammunition cases and wings for the Bristol F2 Fighter bi-plane aircraft were manufactured at the Hanover Works.

In later years several major engineering works were carried out by Thompsons at locations all over Ireland and in the Carlow area. These included building Carlow Sugar Factory in 1926 and dismantling St Anne’s Church on the Athy Road in Carlow in 1929. The church was then re-erected as St Clare’s Church in Graiguecullen on the west side of the river Barrow. The firm also manufactured peat processing machinery, canal barges and was involved in hydro-electric installations.

During World War II armoured cars were manufactured for the army by Thompsons. Some of these saw service in the Congo when the Army served there as part of the United Nations force in 1961. Thompsons have manufactured and installed several well-known Irish landmarks. These include the Millennium Bridge and the East Link Toll Bridge both of which span the river Liffey in Dublin City. The firm has also manufactured and installed the Dale Bridge over the river Carron in Scotland

Thompsons moved their manufacturing plant to a new premises about 5km north of Carlow town in 2005. The Hanover Works site is now Carlow Shopping Centre. What was the main gate to the gaol is the Barrack Street entrance to the shopping centre. This gate was the location where public hangings took place. Immediately inside the gate the Governors House still stands. When Thompsons was based in Carlow gaol new areas of the gaol were brought into use as the firm expanded. During one such expansion an account of an 1853 extension to the gaol was found written on a door in the gaol.

The account of the 1853 extension to Carlow gaol was discovered in the year 1955 On This Day.

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge spanning the River Liffey Of Dublin manufactured and installed by Thompson of Carlow by infomatique on 2010-09-20 15:12:47


Thompson of Carlow


Carlow Shopping Centre, formerly Thompsons Hanover Works and previously Carlow Gaol

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