Newmills Corn and Flax Mills

Newmills Corn And Flax Mills

Newmills Corn and Flax Mills

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Description:
Newmills Corn and Flax Mills () are situated on the R250, Churchill road, beside Newmills Bridge on the south bank of the River Swilly, 5 kilometres west of Letterkenny in the small town of Milltown in County Donegal, Ireland. It features one of the largest, still working, waterwheels in the country. The millrace is 1 km long and powers two separate millheels, one for grinding oats and barley and the other for flax.

History

Corn and flax mills have been located there since the early 19th century when the Joseph Hunter. This combination of corn and flax mills is found mainly in Ulster where both types of mill were intimately linked to the surrounding farming economy. In 1861, Joseph Hunter sold the mills to John Devine and when Patrick Gallagher moved to Newmills in 1892, he bought the complex from William Devine, John's son. In addition to the mills, Gallagher purchased a residence, public house, grocery and ancillary buildings, including a scutcher's cottage This was located in a field beside the mill pond. The complex also included a forge on the opposite side of the road as well as a sizable farm of land. The business at Newmills was continued by his son, P.F. Gallagher until his death in 1980.

In 1892 the buildings were in a very poor state of repair and, according to the Valuation Office, the corn mills were disused and had been converted to use as farm buildings. Patrick Gallagher made extensive improvements to the corn mill around 1907...
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