The Miller's House, The Old Mill
Ballymore Eustace, Co.Kildare
The Old Woollen Mill at Ballymore Eustace (known locally at The Factory) was built in a series of phases from 1802 as a thriving woollen mill, with peripheral additions after 1837, and possibly integrating elements of earlier mills, the site having been used variously as a corn, oat mill and tuck mill since the Middle Ages. At its prime the mill is said to have employed 700 people from the local town, in the magnificent factory buildings, driven by at three water wheels, fed by the mill race from Golden Falls. (see History)
Sadly, production stopped around 1910. The Factory was bought by the Ryan family in the 1940s, the last residing at the Mill passed away in the 1990s. The Mill has since been unoccupied. All of the buildings are now empty and derelict, having suffered almost 100 years of rot, weather damage, vandalism, uncontrolled ivy and tree growth. Some buildings have collapsed entirely, others are at risk of collapse. The mill race and many of the sluices have silted up or grown over.
In 2013 the Mill was bought by the Appelbe family (no relation to the jewellers) in the hope of saving the heritage of the buildings before they are lost forever. We hope that these beautiful and historic buildings can be returned to a living and productive state that can sustain itself long into the future.
The restoration of the Factory will be a long and difficult process. It is likely to take years to study the condition of the buildings, develop the best conservation plans then submit them for consent before we can begin restoration. Work has started with light remedial work such as clearing drains, stripping back vegetation, and making the building masonry safe. Aside from the normal hazards at the property, this will include use of machinery, felling of trees and other work that carries risk. Care must be taken. We will have taken safety measures such as fencing off some areas. (see Safety).
Development of the Conservation Plan for the Old Woollen Mills at Ballymore Eustace is supported by the Heritage Council under the Heritage Management Grant Scheme 2014