Milford Mills

A lovely place just outside Carlow Town – Milford Mills is well worth a visit.

Milford Mills is an 18th-century watermill that sits on the banks of the River Barrow at Milford, County Carlow. Originally built as a flour mill and malting house, it was later employed as a hydroelectric power station.

The first mill to sit on this site was built around 1775 by James Conolly Esq. In the late 1780s, John Alexander, a member of a Northern Irish family of Scottish extraction moved to County Carlow, purchasing lands in Ballygowan, Ballinabranna, Craanluskey, and Tomard. The mills that can be seen to this day were subsequently built under the auspices of “Alexander & Conolly”. At its height in the 1860s, the mill was said to have the most powerful millwheels in Britain or Ireland.

In 1862 the flour mills were totally destroyed by fire.

The extant malting building was later used as a tannery, which was established by a leather merchant, Kennedy O’Brien, in the 1940s. Another fire in 1965 gutted the structure again, closing the tannery and drawing to an end industrial activity at the site.

In 1891 the mill was modified to generate electricity, in doing so Carlow became the first inland town in Ireland or Britain to receive electric power.

In 1991, the Old Carlow Society erected a commemorative plaque at the site:

“On 13th July 1891 Carlow became the first inland town in Ireland or Great Britain to be lighted throughout by hydro-electricity generated from here re-commisioned to feed into the national grid 1990.”

It used to be a significant industrial centre but now Milford is a tourist attraction in County Carlow. And in my opinion, it`s one of the must-visit places in Carlow.

It is a very beautiful picturesque and tranquil place and very eagerly visited by photographers and artist painters. The most interesting objects are the weir and the bridge. This area is one of the most scenic views in Carlow.

Milford Mills is a wonderful place to relax for all families, walk, and watch the wildlife. There are the otters on the weir, ducks to feed and there is usually a Grey Heron in attendance.

It is also a very popular place for fishing.

Location of Milford Mills:

Below are photos from my last visit to Milford Mills in October 2020.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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