Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Historical Technical
Richmond Distillery/Richmond Mill
In Use As
1770 - 1775
Attached multiple-bay four-storey and three-storey corn mill complex on irregular-plan, built 1771, comprising square-plan block containing mill wheel, with multiple-bay wing to northwest end of northeast elevation, and multiple-bay wing to southeast end of southwest elevation. Derelict (2005), now converted to apartments. Multiple-bay single-storey block to north side of complex. Roofs collapsed, formerly pitched and hipped with cut stone eaves course. Rubble limestone walls with cast-iron tie-bars. Square-headed window openings, some with dressed limestone lintels. Square and segmental-headed door and carriage arch openings. Round-headed opening (over former millrace) with dressed limestone voussoirs to the east side of block to the southeast end having remains of timber and iron water wheel and iron machinery/fittings. Set in yard to the northwest end of Cloondara with eastern most gable on roadside. Former mill manager's house (13307010) attached to northwest elevation of mill.
This imposing former corn mill and distillery complex is a significant element of the industrial heritage of County Longford. It is well-built using squared limestone rubble and it dominates the village of Cloondara. The survival of the former mill wheel, early machinery and a round-headed arch that carried the former millrace through the building provides an interesting insight into past industrial processes. It was originally built as a corn mill during the late-eighteenth century, which was a boom period for the Irish corn milling industry. It was subsequently converted to use as a whiskey distillery in 1827, when it produced over 10,000 gallons of whiskey annually. It was later reconverted to a corn mill during the Father Matthew Temperance crusade in 1843. It was in the ownership of a William Fleming, c. 1857 (Griffith's Valuation) and the complex consisted of 'house, offices, corn mill, kilns, stores and land' and was valued at £126. Although now being refurbished (2005), it retains much of its structure and its imposing industrial scale and it provides a significant architectural contribution to the streetscape of Cloondara. The former millrace ran from the Camlin River to the east, diverted by a weir (13307029), before rejoining the Camlin to the west.