Coachfinish help with water wheel restoration

Jan2014 08

The water wheel, one of the largest in Ireland, dates from 1850 when the buildings were converted from a linen bleaching mill to a corn mill. The linen mill had been powered by two large waterwheels, 14’ and 18’ in diameter, but when the conversion to corn was made, they were replaced by the existing huge wheel, which measures 32’ in diameter by 4’7” wide.

The construction is described in water wheel terms as “pitchback” and “breastshot”, which means that the water entered the wheel either along the pipe at the top (pitchback) or from the mill race at the right hand side (breastshot). The water supply was from a small but very fast stream called the Sally river and such was the efficiency of the system that it generated enough power to drive three sets of millstones.

The wheel continued in operation until the 1920s, but thereafter was allowed to deteriorate. In 1987 it was restored by local businessman Peter Smyth, and, now powered by electricity, it can be seen turning each day.

The water wheel has recently undergone more restoration in July 2013, with the help of Belfast based Coachfinish NI Ltd, who supplied and specified the primer and paint to suit.

Please visit Dundonald Old Mill for more information.

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 15.01.49