NUMBER 10 ARDEE STREET was constructed in the early-1800s to house the brewer and offices of Watkins' Brewery. With so much renovation and new building taking place in the area, it seems high time that this great house was given a makeover.
There was a brewery on this site from the mid-1500s until Watkins closed its doors in 1937. At its peak in the Eighteenth Century, Watkins was the third largest brewery in Dublin and a serious competitor to the mighty Guinness. In those days the brewery was divided by Cork Street, with the brewing house and offices on the South side and 87 dwellings for workers on the North side. Many of these houses remain occupied today in a quiet little cul-de-sac called Watkins Buildings.
The brewery was briefly occupied during Easter Rising by Con Colbert and a garrison of 20 men. Nothing much was happening there, so the volunteers eventually joined up with Marrowbone Lane Distillery Garrison.
Thereafter, the brewing and distilling industries in Dublin collapsed, and Watkins Brewery went out of business in the 1930s with the loss of 100 jobs. The site suffered a large fire in 1951, but the house survived. The house also survived the widening of Cork Street, although its neighbour was sliced in two leaving an ugly scar on the street-scape to this day.