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Pollexfen House
Pollexfen House

Address: Wine Street Sligo

At the corner of Wine Street and Adelaide Street stands the impressive stone building formerly "The Western Wholesale Company".

This was once part of the extensive property of the Pollexfen family. On the roof can be seen the turret from which William Pollexfen trained a telescope on his ships going in and out of port over a century ago. A century ago the Pollexfens and the Middletons were the largest ship owners in Sligo. During the first half of the 19th century they owned a large fleet of sailing vessels. About 1860 they began to use steam to cater for the ever increasing numbers of emigrants. The early 1860’s saw the highest emigration figures in Sligo since the great Famine. In 1864 as many as 400 per week sailed for America and Canada. In 1867 when his grand- son, W.B. Yeats, was two years old, William Pollexfen saw the “Erin’s Hope” arriving in Sligo Bay. The 138-ton brigantine, in charge of American Fenian officers, had sailed from New York with a cargo of arms and ammunition. It was refused permission to enter port and, after lying at anchor in the Bay for six days, sailed back for New York. Before turning left into Adelaide Street stand at the Western Wholesale corner, and look to your right. You will glimpse some of the tall stone warehouses near the docks, reminders of the great days of Sligo Port described by Lewis: “In 1834, 47 vessels in the foreign trade entered inwards and two cleared outwards and 354 in the coasting and cross-channel trade entered inwards and 508 cleared outwards; there were 17 vessels belonging to this port in that year.