In Skerries, a small coastal town 30km north of Dublin City, there are two windmills and a watermill. This unique collection of mills is one of Ireland’s foremost tourist attractions and industrial heritage centres. Guided tours are available daily and are a must on your list of things to do while in Dublin.
The story of stone-ground milling in Skerries can be traced to the early 16th century when the lands belonged to the Priory of Holmpatrick, an Augustinian monastic foundation.
Milling continued in Skerries until the early years of the 20th century and a bakery which existed by 1840, was producing breads and confectionery until the mid 1980’s.
Following a ten year restoration project undertaken by the Fingal County Council, FÁS and the local community, the centre is open to the public throughout the year. The mills with associated mill pond, mill races and wet lands are now a focal point for Skerries Town Park and the site commands wonderful views of the coast and off-shore islands.
Visitors begin their guided tour of the site in the four-storey watermill building; they can try their skills at grinding; observe the waterwheel at work and walk through the corn field to visit one of the windmills. The watermill also houses the Watermill Café, an award winning craft shop and an exhibition space which can be accessed independently.
Facilities include, guided tours, watermill cafe with in-house baking and cooking, craft shop, exhibition area, ample free parking, literature available in Irish, French, German, Italian and Spanish.