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Technology and the Big House in Ireland, c. 1800–c.1930 By Charles Carson ...

Chapter 1:  Water Supplies
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Technology and the Big House in Ireland, c. 1800–c.1930

Chapter 1

Water Supplies


One of the fundamental necessities of life is water. Today, public water supplies with strict quality control are piped from huge reservoirs to virtually all areas of Ireland. Before the gradual introduction of this convenience to towns starting in the late nineteenth century and to many rural communities in the early 1950s, water supplies were locally sourced. The volume and kinds of water required for the big house were similar to that of a small village to supply the needs of the owners, guests, and staff. This chapter aims to provide an insight into the various technologies employed in meeting these requirements from the available sources of water on the estate. Attention will be paid to the means of delivering water from source to destination and to the effort involved in doing this. The various methods of storing water and their visual impact on the environs of the big house will be considered, especially where very large volumes were concerned to cope with the intermittent nature of rainfall. Examples of the construction of artificial lakes where there were no