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Heverin's Mill

Heverin's Mill

“The Mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely”

Mill StoneMill StoneSo goes the saying, and I'm sure it is as true of Heverin's millas of any other. This mill was built in 1842 by Daniel Heverinwho came from a milling family in Lavallyroe, near Cloonfad. Itis said that there was a mill on that site in former times. Themill was originally thatched and was a single movement mill,which means that the same millstones were used to shell andgrind corn. It was worked by a wheel which was 11 feet,(3.5metres) in diameter and 2ft. 8ins.(2/3metre) wide.The millstones were made from stones called Conglomerates,which were quarried on Slieve Dart mountain by men from(Gortnalea, Cappagh and Cloonkeen. They were in great demandas they made no dust, and so were sold to millers all roundGalway, Mayo and Roscommon.

The works of the mill consisted of a water wheel at the river gable. Inside you had a pit wheel, a bull wheel, a spur wheel,pinions and two grinding stones. The stones were raised everythree weeks to be pricked and sharpened. The mill had a winnowing machine driven by the millwheel and this took chaff and shelling and seeds from the meal. It was called Lochan anddeannach.Mill StreamMill Stream

The corn which was brought to be milled was first dried in two kilns, heated by a turf fire. The person who brought corn tobe milled had to bring turf to dry it, and it was dried the nightbefore it was milled. Heverin's mill had two kilns made fromstones covered by straw. One kiln could dry a cast of 12cwt.and the other could dry 11 cwt. While one was drying, the otherwas emptied.

The river which worked the mill rose west of Garrafraunschurch, and flowed between Quinaltagh and Garrafrauns. Itwas filled by spring wells that flowed from Quinaltagh, and itjoined the Sinking River at Gortnagoyne. Heverin's mill usedvery little water. It had a bucket- type wheel which meant the water came down from the top. They stored the water ina field with a bank around it—— 140 yds. by 20 yds. and let injust enough water to turn the wheel. They stored enough waterto work the mill for one day. The water-run to the mill was called the tarae. The stream into the mill was called the head-race, and the stream out was called the tail-race.

The weeks before Christmas were always the busiest for the miller. Eventhough watermills were plentiful, people often hadto queue up , and it is reported that a plug of tobacco was thebest bribe to give the miller if you wanted to get away early.The miller's official reward/ payment was every fifth quart ofthe grain.Oatmeal was stored in a mill chest or a very large bag thatwould hold 2 to 3 cwt.The meal was a very important andnutritious element of the Irish diet at that time. It was usedto make bread, stirabout(porridge), black pudding, and wasoften boiled with turnip when potatoes were scarce. A drink called Suidin was also made from oaten meal ,milk and sugar.

The Heverin family were millwrights and made millwheels for other mills. They also enjoyed the fishing rights of the river.Daniel Heverin had two sons, Patrick and John. John's son,Pat,was the last miller and the mill closed down aroundthe early1960's. Pat died in 1981.

 Sadly, the mill is now a ruin. All that stands are walls and some of the works inside. The miller's house is there but is derelict.


Pat HeverinPat Heverin


Remains of Mill Wheel







Miller's CottageMiller's Cottage