WALK AROUND CARRICKMACROSS
Northern Standard Carrickmacross News Thursday 11th June
2. THE TOLL HOUSE
Just up from The Shirley Arms Hotel on the same side of Main Street and in the forecourt of the modern shopping centre is a small single-storey picturesque building known as ‘The Toll House’. It forms an integral part of the former marketplace, standing across the street from the market buildings. It was built by the Shirley estate, as evidenced by the armorial plaque and the date, 1861, some thirty years after the hotel.
Each gable is surmounted by the fleur-de-lys as a reminder of the fact that the landlords could trace their descent through the Devereux family from the Plantagenets, former Kings of England.
The architecture and detail of the Toll House link it with other Shirley estate buildings around the western side town. The other side was owned by the Bath estate. The Tudor-style detailing, with label-mouldings and typical doorway, enhances this modest building. It was used to collect market levies and tolls. Just outside it is a weighbridge platform. The rest of the weighing equipment was inside.
Thursday was traditionally market day in Carrick and a grain market was held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fairs were held on the second Thursdays of January, February, March, April, June and October and on predetermined dates during the other months. In 1897 the market weighmaster was J.T.Gibbings. Michael McCabe was the collector of tolls and Henry Russell was the clerk.
The building was used for a number of years to house the Lace Gallery, which then moved across the road to the Market Square in 1991. In the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, the Toll House is described as having a pitched slate roof with tooled stone fleur-de-lys finials, cut-stone copings, and cast-iron rainwater goods. Exposed random squared sandstone walls with tooled sandstone skew-putts, armorial and date plaque to east elevation, and smooth raised quoins. Square-headed window openings having chamfered tooled sandstone surrounds and label-mouldings, stone sills and barred four-over-four pane timber sliding sash windows with ogee horns. Tudor-arch door opening having chamfered tooled sandstone surround, label-moulding and replacement timber door.