STREAMSTOWN MILL

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Streamstown Mill is a former corn mill that dates back to the late 18th century. Located on the scenic Streamstown Bay, the mill is a testament to the rich history and culture of Connemara, a region known for its rugged beauty, Gaelic heritage and smuggling activities.

Streamstown Mill was built around 1780 by the D’Arcy family, who were prominent landlords and merchants in Clifden and the surrounding area. The mill was used to grind corn, mainly oats and barley, for local consumption and export. The mill was powered by a waterwheel that was fed by a stream that ran through the townland of Streamstown.

The mill was part of a thriving economy that was based on smuggling, especially during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), when trade with continental Europe was restricted by the British. Streamstown Bay was an ideal location for smuggling, as it had a deep and sheltered harbour that could accommodate large ships. The smugglers brought in goods such as tobacco, wine, brandy, tea and silk, and exchanged them for local produce such as wool, butter, salted fish and corn.

The mill also had a connection to the famous Connemara marble, a green and white stone that is found only in this region. The Joyce family, who were also involved in smuggling, opened a marble quarry in Streamstown in 1822. The marble from this quarry was used to decorate many buildings, such as the Galway Cathedral and the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, the prosperity of Streamstown did not last long. The Great Famine (1845-1852) devastated the population and the economy of Connemara, and many people emigrated or died of starvation and disease. The mill stopped operating in the mid-19th century, and was later used as a farm outbuilding.

Today, the mill is a derelict but impressive structure that consists of four stories and six bays. It has a slate roof, stone walls and arched windows. The waterwheel and the machinery are no longer there, but some traces of them can still be seen. The mill is privately owned and not open to the public, but it can be viewed from the road or with the owner’s permission. Streamstown Mill is a remarkable example of industrial heritage in Connemara, and a reminder of the turbulent and fascinating past of this region. 

LOCATION

53.511209, -10.045131

Streamstown mill

GALLERY

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