Celbridge Mill & Millers

Celbridge mill was once the largest in Ireland

Celbridge mill was once the largest in Ireland

The oldest mill in the Celbridge area is Temple Mills 2 km outside the town on the Ardclough Road ((53°20′01″N 6°32′41″W). It was operated by the Tyrrell family for 300 years. In the 19th century  it was operated by James Greenham and Joseph Shaw before it closing in 1871. It was briefly revived by the McCracken family before closing eventually in 1895.

Manor Mills, later Celbridge Mill, has seen 30 changes of lease or owner in its documented history.

The oldest part of the surviving building was built by Louisa Conolly in 1785-8 incorporating parts of the old Celbridge Market House.

The mills were reopened and extended in 1805 by Laurence Atkinson and James Haughton from Yorkshire. Haughton’s enterprise had become the biggest woolen mill in the country by 1815. It employed 600 people before the end of protective duties in disrupted the viability of the woollen industry in Ireland.

Fraudulent activity by the owner Benjamin Marshall in 1831 and a fire in 1832, followed by a series of lawsuits caused it to close before it was reopened in 1840-79 by Giles Shaw.

In 1922 some of the Mill buildings were briefly used as a barrack by British forces and were extensively damaged during the War of Independence.

In 1930 the Leinster Hand Weaving Company purchased the premises for conversion to a weaving mill and restored the damaged portion of the premises. After the Mill was acquired by Barney Reynolds in 1937 it was once again the most important industry in the region, and employed 120 people by the time it was taken over by Navan Carpets in 1956. While the Celbridge operation remained viable, problems with the parent company meant the mill closed in May 1982 with the loss of 220 jobs.

In 1985 the Mill; buildings were extensively restored as a community and business centre, with small industry units, meeting rooms and activity facilities which are still used by sporting and social groups.

The Jeremiah Haughton mill complex still dominates the approaches to the town from the Dublin road. On the adjoining street, (known as English Row since was settled by tradesmen who came from Yorkshire in the 1805-21 period) there is a wall mount dating the fabric of the Mill to 1785, and a stone commemorating the prehistoric site of St Mochua’s well.

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