Marybrook Mills, Drumnaconagher

Map Reference: J408520 (3408, 3520)

Beside Marybrook House there is a corn mill and a scutch mill, which share the mill dam. Collectively they are often referred to as Silcock’s Mills. The corn mill is a two storey building measuring about 22m by 7m. It is topped by a cockananny, indicating the presence of a corn kiln. This kiln is intact but was out of use at the time of my visit (1993). There is an internal wooden breast wheel 5.5m in diameter and 1.5m wide. It was not possible to examine this closely.

Just outside the door is a fine set of sack scales. There are both stone and iron weights. The water-wheel drives three sets of stones. There is also a combustion engine but it is not coupled to the water-wheel.

Two sets of stones are French burr and the other is Derbyshire grit. There is also a vertical set of stones of concrete covered with emery. The mill produces wholemeal flour in small bags for retail outlets and in large sacks for the bakeries.

Across the yard is the scutch mill. This is another two-storey building measuring about 26m by 7m.

It has an internal breast wheel which drives a horizontal MacAdam flax breaker and ten sets of scutching blades.

There are power take-offs from the wheel to drive ventilators and the plunger of a butter-churn which stands at the rear of the building.

The building beside the scutch-mill houses a turbine scutcher which may be belt-driven from any available source. There are extensive waterworks associated with the mills, including an eel-weir and eel-trap.

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