The largest smock windmill in Europe & The rise and fall of the Roe Whiskey Distillery

This former windmill, now known as St Patrick’s Tower, was the largest smock windmill in Europe and was used to power the Roe Distillery on Thomas Street in Dublin City. George Roe & Company had its beginnings in 1757 when Peter Roe bought a small distillery here. At that time the Thomas Street Distillery covered 17 acres and was producing two million gallons of whiskey annually. Roe Whiskey exported to the United States, Canada, and Australia as well as to all over Europe, and by 1887 it had expanded into the largest distillery in Europe. The Row family became so wealthy that they even funded the restoration of Christ Church Cathedral. During the early 1900s, the whiskey industry went into a global decline. By 1926 the Distillery had ceased producing whiskey, although they still had large quantities of unsold stock in storage. The company finally dissolved and in 1949 the Guinness family (who were actually the next-door neighbors!) took over the entire site.