If you are looking for a unique and fascinating destination in Galway, you might want to visit Ahascragh Mills, a former corn mill that dates back to the early 19th century, turn distillery. Located in the village of Ahascragh, about 40 km from Galway city, the mill is a remarkable example of industrial heritage that tells the story of the agricultural and commercial life of the region.

Ahascragh Mills was opened around 1810 by the Bell family, who owned several estates in the area. The mill was used to grind corn into flour, which was then sold to local farmers and merchants. The mill was powered by water from the Bunowen River, which was diverted through a mill stream and a mill race to turn the large metal wheel that drove the machinery. The mill complex also included a kiln, a granary, a storehouse, and a miller’s house.

The mill was a vital part of the local economy and community for over a century, providing employment and income for many people. It also played a role in the social and political history of the country, as it was involved in some events of the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War. For example, in 1921, the mill was raided by British forces who were looking for weapons and ammunition hidden by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The miller at the time, John Kelly, was arrested and interrogated, but he managed to escape and rejoin the IRA.

The mill ceased operations in the 1950s, as it could not compete with modern milling methods and cheaper imports. It was then abandoned and left to decay and become derelict. However, in recent years, the mill has been given a new lease of life, thanks to an ambitious project that aims to restore it and transform it into a distillery.

In 2019, a group of local entrepreneurs and investors decided to buy the mill complex and turn it into Ireland’s first zero energy emissions distillery. Now the Ahascragh Mill has been transformed and is the proud home of Ahascragh Distillery, which produces premium gin and whiskey using locally sourced ingredients and renewable energy sources. The distillery also offer tours and tastings for visitors who want to learn more about the history and craft of distilling.

The restoration of the mill has been and continues to be done with respect for its original features and character, preserving as much as possible of its historic fabric and machinery. The project also aims to enhance the natural environment around the mill, creating habitats for wildlife and improving water quality. The distillery will be a showcase of sustainability and innovation, as well as a tribute to the heritage and culture of Ahascragh.

In addition to the distillery, you can also visit the distillery’s café and shop, which are open in the former granary building. The Old Mill Shop & Café offers a range of local products and delicacies, as well as information about the distillery project. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and some homemade treats while admiring the views of the mill stream and the village.

Ahascragh Mills is a place where history meets future, where tradition meets creativity, where nature meets industry. If you are planning a trip to Galway, make sure to include Ahascragh Mills in your itinerary. You won’t regret it!


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Ahascragh Mills



Bell family connection -go to coffee shop

June 4, 2023

It is hard to see as the old mill is being renovated into a distillery. I am a Bell family descendant from Australia, so I was very interested to see the mill. If you go to the coffee shop across the road you can see parts from the old mill that has been turned into furniture.

Margaret Neve