Ballycopeland Windmill – Super Sunday

 

Ballycopeland Windmill Front

For this week’s Super Sunday we decided to visit Ballycopeland Windmill, Northern Ireland’s last surviving Tower Mill.  Although I have driven past this windmill hundreds, if not thousands of times I have never stopped. So, time for a change….

Brief History

The windmill is thought to have been constructed around 1780, although an exact date is unknown.
The last miller was Samuel McGilton, who finished up milling 1915. Samuel offered the mill to the state in 1935 and was taken into care in 1937.
At present the windmill is the last surviving working mill in Northern Ireland.

Where is it?

The windmill is situated on the Ards Peninsula in County Down, outside of Millisle, in Northern Ireland.

Map to Ballycopeland Windmill Northern Ireland

Getting there –

Car – Approx a 10/15 minute drive from Bangor or Newtownards and a 35 minute drive from Belfast. The closest village would be Millisle which is a 2 minute drive.  There is very limited on site parking.

Bus – There is bus service that leaves Newtownards and goes down the Moss Road into Millisle.  However, it only runs a few times a day. There is a stop  outside the front of the windmill.  The other option would be to get the bus via Donaghadee to Millisle, however this would mean a one mile walk on partially unpaved road.

Opening Hours

Weclome to Ballycopeland Windmill sign

The visitors centre is open 10 am to 5 pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the summer months.

Contact details:

028 9082 3207
scmenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk

Discover NI Website

Cost

Free

What is on site

On site cottages

Miller’s Cottage

First of all, on arrival at the miller’s cottage we were greeted by one of the guides. He explained the lay out of the area and give us a brief history on the mill and surrounding area.  He was very knowledgeable, and as a result was able to answer any questions we had.

Exhibition 1Exhibition 2

Exhibition 3

Exhibition 4

Kiln House

Next up, we visited the Kiln house, and watched a short documentary on the history of the windmill. It explained the importance of the mill in the area and the process involved in from start to finish.

Video Room History Mural Kiln man 1 kilnman 2

Kiln chimney

Kilnman’s House

At the moment there is an exhibit here explaining the history of the windmill and the restoration work involved in getting the windmill back to it’s former glory, due to considerable damage caused by excessive wind.  There are plans to open a coffee shop here next summer.

Restoration work

Windmill

The main attraction was closed unfortunately, although I didn’t expect it to be open, besides, there is plenty of other things to see and do!

Front of mill

Short walk to windmillLet us in

Would we return

Yes because I would love to see inside the Windmill.  Although, the guide explained that for health and safety reasons it’s only open a handful of times throughout the year.  So, for that reason,  we will plan ahead next time, and go back when it’s open.

Top tips

1. It’s probably best to contact them before going to confirm entry.

2. Nearby is the village of Millisle which has many great fish and chip shops.  So I recommend you grab your lunch, sit on the wall by the sea and watch the world and boats go by.

3. The windmill is a hidden gem, and consequently, doesn’t get the visitors it deserves, so spread the word!

If reading enjoy reading about our days out in Northern Ireland. Check out our other blog post here – Northern Ireland

Thanks

The Lewis Family.

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