Robert Perry & Co.

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Robert Perry & Co.

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Robert Perry & Co. Ltd.
  • Robert Perry & Co. (1927) Ltd.

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Belmont Mills
  • Perry’s Mills

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

c.1840 – 1982


The firm of Robert Perry & Co. originally began life in Clara, King’s County. Henry Robert Perry took a lease of the Street Mill in Clara and formed the company Robert Perry & Co., Clara Mills in the 1840s or 1850s. The company was named after his father, Robert Perry, who founded Rathdowney Brewery in 1831 which brewed Perry’s Ale. In 1859, Henry Robert purchased Belmont Mills from Captain John Collins for the sum of £3275. The mill complex was located beside the site an earlier 18th century mill complex situated south of Belmont Village on the right bank of the River Brosna. The company now traded as Robert Perry & Co., Clara and Belmont Mills but by 1865, Marcus Goodbody controlled all the mills at Clara so that Robert Perry & Co. became exclusively attached to Belmont and thereafter known locally as Belmont Mills or Perry’s Mills. Henry Robert’s brother, Thomas Perry ran the mill at Belmont during the 1860s and acquired full ownership of it in 1878. He converted the adjoining derelict corn and rape mills to an oat mill and a granary. Business was brisk, much of this owing to its advantageous location. Distribution was aided greatly by both the Grand Canal, which connected Dublin with Limerick via the Shannon, and also by the Clara-Banagher railway, which had opened in 1884. There were three major fires at Belmont Mills, the first of which occurred in 1879, the year after Thomas acquired outright ownership of the mill.

Rebuilding commenced immediately and innovative machinery was installed during this time such as ‘roller mills’ as well as the traditional millstones. In 1893 the company was restructured as Robert Perry & Co. Ltd. and upgrading continued. Ernest Perry took over in 1900 on the death of Thomas Perry. A new maize mill was added between 1906-09 for the production of animal feed and a turbine was installed in 1908 to provide electricity to the mill and the village of Belmont. The mill then passed to Wilfred Perry on the death of his brother, Ernest, in 1924. Another disastrous fire in 1925 destroyed the flour and maize mills. Insurance was paid out but after a couple of years, it was rebuilt and re-opened in 1928 under the name Robert Perry & Co. (1927) Ltd. producing flaked maize, wheatmeal, oatmeal, and flaked oatmeal. The mill subsequently passed to Wilfred’s son Philip, who continued to produce oats and animal feed until his death in 1967. His wife continued the business for many years and the oatmeal mill was used to produce ‘Groato’ flaked oatmeal until c.1974. On her death in 1980, their son, David Perry took over the business. In 1982, the mill was devastated by fire for the third time. This time it was not rebuilt, but demolished, except for the granary, which had not been damaged. David Perry began work on the installation of a hydro-power station at the site to generate electricity for the national grid. Animal feed production continued in the maize mill granary and did not cease until 1997 when the entire operation was sold to a new owner, Tom Dolan.


Belmont, King's County (Offaly)

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Robert Perry & Co. owned the Belmont Mills which produced flour, oats and animal feed during its operations. During Ernest Perry’s ownership, a turbine was installed which produced electricity for the mill and the village of Belmont.

The Mill was located on the River Brosna which allowed stock to transported via the Grand Canal which connected Dublin and Limerick though the Shannon. Stock was also transported by the Clara-Banagher railway from 1884.

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

Henry Perry, son to Robert, began Robert Perry & Co., Clara and Belmont Mills in 1840s and named it after his father. In 1865, Marcus Goodbody controlled the mills in Clara, and it was renamed Robert Perry & Co.

Thomas Perry, brother to Henry, began running the business during the 1860s. In 1878 he gained full ownership. He converted nearby derelict mill to produce oats and built a granary. In 1879 a fired destroyed the mill. It was rebuilt with new machinery. In 1893 it was renamed Robert Perry & Co. Ltd.

Ernest Perry, son of Thomas, took over the business when his father died in 1900. He began producing animal feed and installed a turbine for electricity.

Wilfred Perry, brother to Ernest, succeeded Ernest when he died in 1924. In 1925 another fire destroyed the mill. It was rebuilt and opened in 1928 with a new name of Robert Perry & Co. (1927) Ltd.

Philip Perry, son of Wilfred, took over the business and continued to produce oats and animal feed. In 1967 he died, and his wife obtained the business until her death in 1980.

David Perry, son of Philip, acquired the business after his mother’s death. In 1982 a fire destroyed the mill and it was not rebuilt again. David Perry instead began work on the installation of a hydro-power station at the site to generate electricity for the national grid.

Animal feed continued to be produced until 1997 when the site was sold to Tom Dolan.

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