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Location: Dublin

Tonge & Taggart Ltd coal plate (Dublin Coal Holes by John Mahon)
Dublin Coal Holes
by John Mahon
  • "40 & 41 Bishop-St"
  • "Windmill Lane, Sir John's Quay, Dublin", "Off Sir John Rogerson's Quay"
  • "Ironfounders & Engineers, East Wall Road, Dublin 3"
  • "...made by the firm of Tonge and Taggart who were established in Bishop's Street in 1869, and are responsible for a great deal of ironwork about the city. In 1907 [sic, should be 1906] this firm moved to Windmill Lane, and in 1938 to East Wall Road where it still operates." —Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 38, No. 3, June 1985

Products:

  • 1906: "Cast Iron Work for Builders, Plumbers, Engineers, etc. Heavy Road Manhole Covers. Road Gully Traps. Channel Gratings, Tanks. Columns, Stanchions, Barley Steeps, &c."
  • 1917: "General Ironfounders. Makers of Cast-Iron Work for Builders, Engineers, Plumbers, Road and Sewer Contractors, etc. etc. Specialties—Tanks, Manhole Covers, and Columns"
  • 1929: "General Ironfounders. Specialties: Manhole Covers, Water Tanks, Village pumps"
  • 1935: "Iron Castings for Housing Schemes. Specialties: Manhole Covers, Road Gulley Traps, Armstrong Covers, Sectional Tanks, Circular Type Road Manhole Covers"
Tonge & Taggart Ltd ad, 1906
1906 ad
Tonge & Taggart Ltd ad, 1917
1917 ad
Tonge & Taggart Ltd ad, 1929
1929 ad
Tonge & Taggart Ltd ad, 1935
You're Living in 1935
Irish Builder and Engineer University College Dublin · Special Collections Mount Merrion
Historical Society

Pavement Lights:

PAVEMENT LIGHTS.—We are glad to announce that Messrs. Tonge and Taggart, of the South City Foundry, Bishop-street, have completed arrangements for the manufacture of pavement sashes, fitted with semi-prism lenses of the highest quality. —Irish Builder and Engineer, May 1, 1890 PAVEMENT LIGHTS.—The pavement lights (3) at Messrs. Battersby and Company's new offices, 6 Westmoreland-street, have been supplied by Messrs. Tonge and Taggart, of the South City Foundry, Bishop-street. They have large orders in hands for other city establishments for their pavement lights. —Irish Builder and Engineer, July 1, 1890

Tonge & Taggart pavement lights ad, 1898

TONGE & TAGGART, SOUTH CITY FOUNDRY 40 & 41 BISHOP-ST
MAKERS OF
4" × 3" SEMI-PRISM PAVEMENT LIGHTS,
TO ORDER,
AND ALL CLASSES OF CAST IRON WORK.
Irish Builder and Engineer, February 15, 1899
Tonge & Taggart pavement light, Limerick
Kanaldeckeln, Kappen und Regeneinläufen

Tonge & Taggart ad, St. Mary's College of Domestic Science · Dublin · Illustrated Souvenir · 1941

Iron Castings

PAVEMENT LIGHTS AND CAST IRON TANKS USED IN DOMESTIC
SCIENCE COLLEGE WERE MADE IN OUR FOUNDRY

PHONE: 43973
TONGE & TAGGART, LTD.
WATERMAIN PIPE SPECIALS.
Foundry: EAST WALL, DUBLIN
Office and General Foundry:
Windmill Lane, Sir John's Quay, Dublin
St. Mary's College of Domestic Science, Dublin · Illustrated Souvenir, 1941
Tonge & Taggart Ltd pavement light

Coalhole/Manhole Covers:

Tonge & Taggart Ltd coal plate Tonge & Taggart Ltd coal plate Tonge & Taggart Ltd coal plate Tonge & Taggart Ltd manhole cover
Coal Plates Manhole covers
Cast of Thousands · Arran Q Henderson Dublin Coal Holes
John Mahon
Geograph Ireland
Rossographer

Pumps and Fountains:

A DUBLIN MADE FOUNTAIN.

Plan of Captain Tickell's Memorial Fountain at Eadestown, County Kildare
The fountain is to be erected at Eadestown, Co. Kildare, to the memory of Captain Tickell, by his tenantry, from the design of J. J. O'Callaghan, Esq., Architect, F.R.I.A.I. The base and plinth are of limestone from the celebrated Ballyknocken quarry of Mr. W. Osborne; the fountain and basin are of cast iron; the ornamental finials, brackets, etc., of wrought iron. The granite plinth and base is 7 feet wide on the octagonal and 2 feet 6 inches high; the cast iron basin 8 feet in diameter and 1 foot 6 inches deep, which, with the fountain and finials, the whole structure stands 16 feet high, and when placed in position will make a handsome and imposing memorial. There are four ornamental lions' heads, with stop cocks for supplying water to basin, intended for the use of cattle, and by an ingenious arrangement the overflow from the basin will supply four small troughs underneath for dogs. There are also four highly ornamental brackets with cups and chains suspended, for the use of the thirsty wayfarer.
We believe this is the first fountain of its size and description that has ever been made in Dublin, and it proves that there is no necessity for going to Scotland or elsewhere for stock patterns, when architects can have their original designs carried out as well at home. The castings are sharp, fine, and clear, and the mouldings perfect in every detail.
The contractors for the work are Messrs. J. Fagan and Son, 18 Great Brunswick-street, Dublin, who entrusted the castings to Messrs. Tonge and Taggart, South City Foundry. The whole work is a credit to the Irish artisan, and we hope that architects who may require similar works will remember that work of this kind can be executed in Dublin.
Irish Builder and Engineer, March 27, 1901

Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage @acloudonastring Alan L. (mapio)
Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare Captain Tickell Memorial Fountain, Eadestown, County Kildare
Irish Antiquities · Brian T McElherron

Tonge & Taggart Ltd pump Tonge & Taggart Ltd pump Tonge & Taggart Ltd pump Tonge & Taggart Ltd pump Tonge & Taggart Ltd pump
Water Pumps
Collinstown Stackallen School Kilbeggan Drogheda Road Naul
Irish Antiquities · Brian T McElherron Stuart · Flickr National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

Miscellaneous:

Tonge & Taggart Ltd postbox Tonge & Taggart Ltd postbox maker's plaque Tonge & Taggart Ltd gully grating Tonge & Taggart Ltd hydrant valve cover
Postboxes Gully Grating Valve Cover
St Luke's Cross Dunshaughlin Raheen Park, Bray Tully
Irish Postboxes · Joel Geograph Ireland
C O'Flanagan
Geograph Ireland
Rossographer
Kanaldeckeln, Kappen und Regeneinläufen
  • "READING FOR SICK POOR IN SOUTH UNION. A RECEIVING-BOX of cast iron of an ornamental design and finish has been placed at the junction of D'Olier and Westmoreland-streets (“Lundy Foot's Corner,” as it used to be familiarly called). It is intended as a depository for periodicals and newspapers for the use of the patients in the South Dublin Union Infirmary. The receiver (which stands about 5 ft. high) has been manufactured by Messrs. Tonge and Taggart, of Bishop-street, in this city." —Irish Builder and Engineer, May 15, 1891

Surname "Tonge" (pronounced like "orange"):

  • Tong/Tonge/Tongue genealogy site
  • "The Tonge Family may have been Huguenots, who arrived in Dublin, by way of Yorkshire, in the early 1800s. They set up a coach-building business in Great Britain Street. Taggart was the brother-in-law of a later Tonge and together they started the South City Foundry in Windmill Lane. Their main business in the 19th century was the manufacture of cast-iron coalhole and manhole covers. However by the end of the century steel had replaced cast-iron for these goods. The firm switched to making castings for pumps and ornamental purposes. They also made wrought-iron goods such as railings." —Irish Antiquities
  • "I am formally June Tonge. My father Arthur worked in Tonge & Taggart (Iron founders) as a patternmaker from when he was 17 till 63 in 1984. The firm started in 1869 in Bishop Street in Dublin. Then in 1884 approx. it moved to Windmill Lane (now music studios). His cousin Claude was managing director until he died 1969. My dad's father, William, was a patternmaker then he was manager. Other members of the family worked there also. My father says he never knew of any Taggarts while he was there. I think they parted early in the business but the name stuck." —June Comiskey on genealogy.com
  • "My great, great, great (I think I have that right) grandfather founded Tonge & Taggart. The Taggart side died off and my uncle Claude, Thomas (Max) my father's brother was the last managing director before it and the group Tonge McLaughlin Holdings was sold to the Smurfit Group. The original Tonge (father of the above) started in the coachbuilding business in Little or Great Brittan Street in Dublin. We believe that we had come over from Yorkshire around the 1800's. A Thomas Tonge had married an Ellan Maxfield (my father's name). It is thought that they had arrived in Yorkshire from France with the Huguenots (possibly coachbuilders) some two hundred years before." —Kieron Tonge on genealogy.com
  • "English: variant spelling of Tong, also established in Ireland since the 17th century. German: from a reduced short form of the personal name Anton (see Anthony)." —ancestry.com
  • "The history of the Tonge family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire, at Tongue (Tonge). However, as a habitational name, in can also be found in Lancashire, Shropshire, and West Yorkshire as many believe the name to be a topographic name for someone who lived on a tongue of land." —House of Names
  • "Tonge (Tong, Tongue) The family of the name in Ireland is most often found in connection with Co. Wexford and the city of Dublin in our records. The family is generally given to be of English origins when found in Ireland. (The above extracted from the 'Book of Irish Families, great & small')." —The Families of County Dublin, Ireland

Aerial Photos:

Britain from Above

Tonge & Taggart Ltd, Iron Foundry · 30 Sep 1949

WL = Windmill Lane, Sir Johns Quay, Dublin; EWL = East Wall Lane, Dublin

Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing West Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing North/West Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing East Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing North Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Facing North
XAW027017
WL: Facing W
XAW027018
WL: Facing N/W
XAW027019
WL: Facing E
XAW027020
WL: Facing N
XAW027021
WL: Facing N
Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing North/West Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing North/West Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · Windmill Lane, Facing South Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing North/East Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing North/East
XAW027022
WL: Facing N/W
XAW027023
WL: Facing N/W
XAW027024
EWL: Facing S
XAW027025
EWL: Facing N/E
XAW027026
EWL: Facing N/E
(damaged negative)
Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing North Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing North Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing North/East Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing South/West Tonge & Taggart aerial photo, 1949 · East Wall Lane, Facing South/West
XAW027027
EWL: Facing N
XAW027028
EWL: Facing N
XAW027029
EWL: Facing N/E
XAW027030
EWL: Facing S/W
XAW027031
EWL: Facing S/W

Note: Images marked by Aerofilms Ltd for photo editing

Notes:

  • See THE REPAIR OF WROUGHT AND CAST IRONWORK by the Government of Ireland 2009; ISBN 978-1-4064-2189-7
  • "Tonge and Taggart of Windmill Lane, the South City Foundry at 41 Bishop St. and, latterly, East Wall. 1869 Company established. Famed today for its manhole covers, inscribed with the company name and/or the logo 'Cast in the South City Foundry'." —Grace's Guide, (citing The Leading Manufacturing Firms in 1920s Dublin by Frank Barry, Trinity College Dublin, September 2017)
  • "Registered under identification number 6016, Tonge & Taggart Limited was an Irish company ("private" type) that had been on the market since 04 October 1907 until it was dissolved. The company was situated at East Wall Road, Dublin 8. The last time company statutory accounts data was received was on 28 November 1984." —whai.ie
  • Tonge & Taggart and the World Beneath Our Feet

MARRIAGE OF TRADITIONAL CRAFT AND NEW TECHNOLOGY:
TO GET THE best measure of the strength of Tonge & Taggart, one only has to look at the decimation of the entire foundry industry, both here and overseas, over the last ten years. At one time there were over 100 concerns in the UK but this has now been whittled down to 10 with worse still to come. Here in Ireland the situation has been similar (though naturally on a smaller scale).
Throughout, Tonge & Taggart has survived primarily because of the vision and foresight of an enlightened management who realised that the key to survival lay in a marriage of the traditional craftsmanship and new technology. The company hasn't been slow to adopt new techniques and methods of production but at the same time has insisted on retaining the skill element involved from the craft point of view.
Herein lies the key to Tonge & Taggart's success — the ability to offer a total package in relation to water, sewage and gas distribution systems. There are four key elements in any job — the spec, the pattern, the moulding and casting, and the finishing. Each of these areas is under the total control of the company... modern practice is to import patterns but Tongue & Taggart are now unusual in that they have their own pattern makers and machine shop, in addition to a jobbing foundry.
The combined advantage of these factors is flexibility which cannot be matched by the importation of standard pipework and fittings. No job is so straightforward as not to require unusual non-standard additions and it is here that Tonge & Taggart come into their own.
They get involved in a contract as early as the design stage and very often consult with the designer in charge to surmount major problems and thereby make the scheme more cost-effective.
In addition to pipes and fittings, Tonge & Taggart can produce virtually any type of casting, examples being the 6ft diameter pipe for the ESB; architectural bollards; lamp standards; railings; post boxes; even horse troughs (current most unusual "special")
The company has over 100 years experience in the industry and the 167 strong workforce includes a great number who have 30 years plus service. Even Managing Director Nick Hodges has nearly 40 years in Tonge & Taggart, having worked his way up through the ranks to his current position.
In conjunction with this degree of experience and knowhow, Tonge & Taggart are all the time striving to incorporate 63 new methods of production into the process. Plans are currently well advanced for the total replacement of existing plant though it is emphasised that the new innovative practices will not render the craft itself obsolete.
This expansion is in anticipation of an expanding home market and also increased sales on the export side. Tonge & Taggart are making great strides in the Middle East at present with a high degree of success being achieved in Bahrain through their locally-appointed agent.
For details of these and any other developments on either marketing strategy or product capability contact Tonge & Taggart Ltd, East Wall Road, Dublin 3, (Tel: 786088); Telex: 30993.
Irish H & V News, February 1985

Specialists in Cast Iron
Tonge & Taggart Ltd was established in 1869 and since that time has supplied the country with many of its specialized cast iron needs. These have ranged from engineering castings to lamp posts, from simple manhole covers to specialist castings such as the keel of Sir Francis Chichister's [sic] Gypsy Moth 2nd. In the last decade or so the company has considerably reduced its product range and now specialises in manufacture of watermain products, eg pipe fittings and municipal products.
The foundry operates on a 5-acre site at East Wall Road where approximately 2½ thousand tons of castings are produced annually. This tonnage is made up of products which could range from a few lbs in weight to castings which weigh up to four tons. Apart from actual manufacturing and stocking of their own products, the company has acquired a number of agencies from overseas manufacturers in order that it can provide a complete package to the watermain industry.
The following world recognised manufacturers are represented in Ireland by Tonge & Taggart: Stanton & Staveley spin iron pipes, J. Blakeborough & Sons valves and hydrants, Glynwed Foundries Ltd. (Building Products Division) soil and drain pipes including the Timesaver system. Large numbers of all the above products are held in their comprehensive stockyard at their East Wall Road premises.
The facilities at Tonge & Taggart allow for Inquiries to be handled whether in the form of samples, drawings or specification, ie. the company has its own pattern making, machining, testing and transport facilities. In general products manufactured at East Wall Road come under the following headings: gas, sewerage and watermain pipe
fittings, ie. bends, tees, etc, all of which can be produced either to metric or imperial standards, depending on requirements, municipal castings ie. manhole covers, gully gratings and frames, stopcock covers and frames etc, sectional water storage tanks, in addition to these the company manufactures a wide range of miscellaneous products in cast iron.
It is the Local Authorities in Ireland who initiate much of the major water schemes in the country generally through the civil eng. contractors who are large and valued customers. The advantage to them of having a home manufacturer for these products means that products which are required at short notice for emergency purposes can be fed into the manufacturing program ahead of less urgent items, thus the company is capable of literally helping the Local Authorities out of a hole. In addition to the County Councils and Corporations, the company also provides a full service to the Industrial sector and has benefitted from the influx of major foreign industries into Ireland in recent years.
In addition to catering for the need of home industry, Tonge & Taggart have in the last few years made considerable progress in the export field with over 10% of manufactured output being exported. The majority of these exports have gone to Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. But the company also pride itself on the fact that it is capable of competing in the UK market and apart from Northern Ireland where a full time Agent operates, they have also sold their products on the mainland.
Details from Tonge & Taggart Ltd, East Wall Road, Dublin 3. (Tel: 786088; Telex 30993).
Irish H & V News, January/March 1986

Tonge & Taggart Acquired
THE NAME and goodwill of Tonge and Taggart has been acquired from the liquidator by Glossfield Ltd, an associate company of Birr, Co Offaly-based J Cavanagh & Sons Ltd.
Glossfield Ltd has also secured the Stanton (UK) water pipe agency and the Blakeborough (UK) valve agency previously held by Tonge and Taggart. Additionally, the company has acquired Tonge and Taggart's pipe-cutting and welding plant which has been transferred to Birr and is associated with these key agencies.
Exact purchase prices were not disclosed. Commenting on the acquisition, Joseph Cavanagh, Director, Glossfield Ltd said that the deal represented a £0.5 million investment by Glossfield in the Tonge and Taggart name, production plant and the cost of transferring the plant to Birr, Co Offaly.
Tonge and Taggart Ltd was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jefferson Smurfit Group until the company went into voluntary liquidation in December 1987. The company operated a foundry at East Wall Road, Dublin and manufactured a range of cast iron fittings used extensively on watermain projects and treatment plants.
Glossfield Ltd is an associate company of Ireland's longest established foundry — J Cavanagh & Sons Ltd — which manufactures access covers and drainage gratings. The foundry is currently undergoing a £3.5 million modernisation programme at Birr, Co Offaly.
Glossfield is presently negotiating with SFADCO a grant aid package which will enable Glossfield to commence the manufacture of pipe fittings in Birr which otherwise would be fully imported.
Glossfield Ltd will now trade as Tonge and Taggart, as proprietors of the tradename. The offer for an extensive part of the plant and tradename — combined with direct negotiations with Stanton and Blakeborough for these agencies — ensured the success of the Glossfield offer.
An additional 15 to 20 people will be employed at Birr where J Cavanagh & Sons Ltd already employ over 50 people. A £1.1 million investment is planned in the new Tonge and Taggart by the directors. The Birr based group of companies will have a turnover of approximately £5 million.
Irish H & V News, April 1988