On a very chilly January day, myself and Jason joined in with Peter Donegan’s Garden Group for our fifth trip out. Peter is a gentleman, a genius and a landscape gardener extraordinaire and has organised all of these trips off his own bat and they’ve all been brilliant. This time the trip was to Skerries Windmills in North County Dublin.
The mills in Skerries were used for grinding corn: wheat, oats and barley – wind power complementing water power, particularly in times of drought. At the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII in 1538, the Canons Regular of St Augustin of Holmpatrick owned c.1000 acres of land in the vicinity of present-day Skerries and counted a watermill among their possessions. A lease of 1578 tells us that one windmill had already been built on Chanon or Shallock Hill by the last quarter of the 16th century.
The second windmill, known as The Great Windmill of Skerries was probably built towards the end of the 18th century when the former had fallen into disrepair. Stormy weather in the mid- 1840′s badly damaged this mill but it was rebuilt in a five-sail version and became a popular symbol in holiday posters for Skerries.
The windmills are certainly worth a visit, with guided tours through the mills. Thanks again to Peter and everyone who came out on a cold day for a really interesting visit.