Photograph © bannman, under this Creative Commons licence


Mills in the Ulster Folk Museum, Holywood, County Down

Grid reference: J 425 803
Postcode: BT18 0EU
At Holywood, off A2 Belfast to Bangor road. Follow signs.

Three mills:

  1. Coalisland water-powered spade mill (pictured). Built in the middle of the 19th century and comes from the townland of Derry near Coalisland in County Tyrone. The larger of the two breastshot waterwheels powered a massive hammer to beat out the blades of spades, and the smaller drove a fan above two hearths to give draught to the fires. It was built in 1840 and moved to the Museum in 1964.
  2. Gorticashel water-powered flax scutching mill. Built in 1850 and worked until about 1950. Moved to the Museum from Gorticashel in the Sperrin mountains of County Tyrone. Many of the scutching mills were owned and worked by farmers; this mill was built and operated by a family named MacSwiggan. It contains cogged rollers to break down the dried flax and rotating blades to separate the fibres from the outer casing (scutching).
  3. Straid Corn Mill. Came from the townland of Straid, County Antrim. In the late 19th and 20th Century Straid Corn Mill and farm were owned and run by Alexander Weir. A 2-storey corn mill and kiln, in a complex with two cottages and an adjacent store.

Opening times 2017
March to September, Tuesday to Sunday plus NI Bank Holidays, 10.00 - 17.00. 
October to February, Tuesday to Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday and Sunday 11.00-16.00. See also web site.

National Mills Weekend opening times 2017
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May, 10.00-17.00.

Tel. 028 9042 8428.

Official contact form at www.nmni.com/uftm/Contact-Us

Web sites

  1. www.nmni.com/uftm/Collections/buildings/Rural-Buildings/Coalisland-Spade-Mill
  2. www.nmni.com/uftm/Collections/buildings/Rural-Buildings/Gorticashel-Flax-scutching-Mill
  3. www.nmni.com/uftm/Collections/buildings/Rural-Buildings/Straid-Corn-Mill