The new Palmer Bar at Glenlo Abbey, situated just off the Ffrench Room offers guests a quiet retreat with views overlooking the terrace and 18th Century Abbey. 

The Palmer Bar is so called after the Palmer Family who purchased Glenlo in 1897. 

They were wealthy land owners operating flour and maize mills in Galway city at the time. Milling in Galway city was a major industry with up to 30 mills operating by the mid-19th century - providing employment to hundreds of people. The Palmers also ran a brewery called “The Nuns’ Island Brewery”, named after its location next to the Poor Clare Convent. - And they branded their “T Palmer’s Superior Porter” as “equal to Dublin”. 

Photo Courtesy: Galway Advertiser. 

"In the distance you can see Palmer’s Mills. Palmers were flour millers, the bakers of the celebrated Star of the Sea bread. They also ran the Nuns Island Brewery which made T Palmer’s Superior Porter, which they advertised as being ‘equal to Dublin’. This brewery was situated near the entrance to the Poor Clares, as were stables for horses used to distribute Palmer’s products. McDonough’s Flour Mills were next to Palmers. Palmers was an extensive company which originally owned most of the left hand side of the street as we look at it.The mills of Galway suffered greatly with the arrival of the railway - which brought free trade and cheaper products from the US. The small factories could not compete with progress - and the mills were empty and quiet by the turn of the 20th century." Galway Advertiser, Thu, Mar 10, 2011

 
The Palmer family had sold much of their land to support their milling business and lost their fortune. The family then focused their attention on farming the estate at Glenlo. 
 
Jeffrey Palmer, the second generation of Palmers to live at Glenlo, fought in the first World War. After returning from the battle field, he married one of Ireland’s first commercial models, Evelyn McNamara from Limerick. 
Evelyn was famed for her beauty and was the main model for Palmolive shampoo. 
 
During the 1960s and 1970s, Jeffrey and Evelyn Palmer opened their home to paying guests and were able to maintain the estate. Many distinguished guests stayed at Glenlo during this time including judges from Dublin working at the Galway courthouse. 
 
Trevor Wardell, grandson of Jeffrey Palmer, was the last of the family to live at Glenlo, had a dairy and organic farm. However, the costs of running the estate and maintaining the old house were escalating and this attributed to them deciding to sell Glenlo Abbey, which they did in 1984.
 

 
 


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April 02, 2015