Nore Vision: History of Milling

The Nore Vision project hosted a series of talks on the history of milling in Kilkenny in August this year.  Each Wednesday evening for the month a talk and walk took place at four sites along the Nore and Kings River.  The first visit was to Mullins Mill, Kells on the banks of the Kings River.  Siobhan Tulloch delivered an interesting insight into the workings and history of the mill with enormous panache.  

The 2nd evening was a visit to Inch Saw Mills where 2 generations of the Brett family, Ger and Eoin described their families 5 generation history at the site since the 1800s.  Eoin Brett is the 5th generation who continues the family business to this day, now milling Irish hardwoods and producing the most beautiful timber.  

Donal McDonald lead the 3rd event with a wonderful ramble through the mills at Maddoxtown.  He brought the numerous ruins along the river to life with stories of the famous Kilkenny marble and daily life for the mill workers and the many families involved.

With each evening the crowd grew and by the end of August there were 90 people booked in for the visit to the Merino Mill near Ennisnag on 25th August. The success of the event meant that a PA system was needed and the old walls of the mill buildings provide an amphitheatre like setting on another beautiful summers evening.  Billy Wallace, Ennisnag shared stories of merino sheep, industrial milling and the production of the finest cloth on the banks of the Kings River in the early 1800.  Billy’s mother had written a thesis on the Mills a number of years ago and he most certainly did it justice.  Dennis Drennan, Nore Vision addressed the crowd and thanked the historians and landowners for their knowledge and generosity and for creating a memorable series of events celebrating the built heritage of the River Nore.