Elphin Windmill is a fully restored 18th century windmill.
Being over 300 years old, Elphin Windmill is the oldest windmill in Ireland and the only one of its kind in the West of Ireland.
Elphin Windmill's Original Use
The mill was originally used for grinding corn and other grains. It now houses a visitor centre where the workings of the windmill are interpreted and demonstrated. Also, on-site is an agricultural museum housing a threshing machine, a winnower and other machinery associated with the harvesting of grain.
The Windmill is an essential focal point for Elphin Area and a part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. The Elphin community maintain this remarkable marble of Irish history as a not-for-profit organisation and all funds received go back into the upkeep and maintenance of the Windmill.
Come and join us in discovering this authentic Irish experience, along with its peaceful surroundings.
We love Ireland, the monuments of old ways and the old life that we cherish and we are proud and delighted to share this beautiful piece of history with you.
Landowner Edward Synge who was also the Archbishop of Elphin built the Elphin Windmill around 1730. The purpose of the windmill was to grind oats and wheat into the meal, i.e. flour for the local community and for export to the UK to feed the army.
It worked for about 100 years and then left to decay sometime after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, as there was no army to feed. Also, the price of flour plummeted, and this type of technology was no longer required. Of course, the Industrial Revolution would have played a big part in diminishing relevance. It stood there for another 150-160 years or so.
In the mid-1980s a committee was formed to restore the Windmill (Elphin Area community Enterprise Ltd.) It was initially looked upon as a crazy idea.
In 1992, a local farmer J. O’Berne donated this 26ft derelict tower and site to Elphin Area Community Enterprise Ltd., for a £1. The committee undertook the project and worked endlessly to raise the funds to fully restore the Windmill. The work had started by 1993 under a FAS Community Youth Training Scheme.
Elphin Windmill Opened
Elphin Windmill was officially opened in June 1996 as a tourist attraction by the famous Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne whose mother Eileen Gannon came from the Elphin Area.