When Did it all Begin?
It all really began when man first started to eat the corn, which he had saved from a year’s harvest. He ground it between two stones or in a “basin” hollowed out in a rock. Still, occasionally, it is possible to find a “knocking stone” or a bullaun. The next stage seems to have been the development of the “quern” in which an upper stone was turned by hand on a lower stone with grain between them. Most houses had these querns and they have been used for many hundreds of years. About the first century B.C. someone had the bright idea of building a much larger “Quern” and driving them round with wind power or water power, and we had corn mills. A Roman engineer named Vitruvius left a description of a water mill with a vertical wheel, which basically can be littledifferent from our own Bridge Mill.
The use of this type of mill had been brought to Ireland by the Cistercians. Our mill was built first in the 17th century by a man called Corcoran, and then taken over by the Farrell family who worked it and maintained it until 1964. An iron axle replaced the wooden axletree of the first wheel in 1922, and a complete renovation was carried out in 1944, when the two upper storeys were added.
The Mill Wheel showing the Iron Axle