DERRYHIVENY MILL

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Derryhiveny Mill is a three-stage windmill that stands near the town of Portumna in County Galway. It was built around 1750, but it has been derelict for over a century. Despite its decay, it is still a remarkable example of industrial heritage and a familiar landmark in the area.

The windmill is made of limestone rubble with dressed quoins and has a conical roof. It has three stages, each with a door and a window. The lowest stage has a segmental-arched door and a square-headed window. The second stage has a round-arched door and a round-headed window. The third stage has a pointed-arched door and a pointed-headed window. The doors and windows are aligned vertically on the south-east side of the mill.

The mill was used to grind grain, mainly wheat and oats, for local farmers and merchants. It had four sails that were attached to a wooden shaft that ran through the center of the mill. The shaft was connected to a large horizontal wheel on the ground floor, which drove two pairs of millstones on the first and second floors. The grain was stored in bins on the third floor and fed into hoppers above the millstones.

The mill was powered by the wind, which could vary in speed and direction. To adjust to the wind conditions, the miller had to rotate the entire cap of the mill using a tail pole that extended from the rear of the cap to the ground. The cap also had a fantail, a small windmill that automatically turned the cap into the wind.

The windmill was probably abandoned in the late 19th century, when steam engines and railways made wind power obsolete. It gradually fell into ruin, losing its sails, cap, fantail and machinery. It also suffered from vandalism, weathering and vegetation growth.

The mill is now owned by the state and protected as a national monument. However, it has not been restored or maintained, and it is not open to the public. It is only visible from the roadside or with the landowner’s permission.

Derryhiveny Mill is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of its builders and operators, who harnessed the power of nature to produce food and wealth. It is also a reminder of the changes and challenges that rural communities faced in the past.

LOCATION

53.140481, -8.195409

Derryhiveny Mill

GALLERY

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