Dating back to at least 1832, the Ballyminane mill is Ireland’s last fully water powered flour and saw mill. For three generations, the Murphy family have operated the Wexford water mill, passing down the skills and the heritage of this rare institution.
The wheat, the mill uses is sourced locally from 2 or 3 different grain companies and is ground through a set of french burr milling stones. The stones themselves date back to when the mill first opened, in the mid 19th century, and still require a painstaking process of dying and channelling to maintain them in full working order.
Kevin speaks to John Murphy, the current caretaker of the historic mill since 2008. Until then his uncle Aidan had run the mill, maintaining the quality of their various flours and grains.
With the longest water run out of any mill in the country, the Ballyminane mill takes its power from the River Urrin which weaves its way through the Wexford countryside. The rushing waters turn the mill wheel, grinding the millet, wheat and rye.
The stone itself is harder than granite, and is part of the reason why even without modern machinery, the Ballyminane mill can produce such a fine grain flour.