Feltrim Hill, Swords, Co. Dublin

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Where: Feltrim Rd, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Feltrim Hill in Swords looking down on Charles J. Haughey's old home and the Swords, Malahide and Howth in the distance. This was a prominent landmark in its time and was built on a rare (for Ireland) outcrop of coral based limestone.

Almost simultaneously several contributors identified the structure pictured as Feltrim Windmill. It was - we learned - built in the 17th century from Dutch bricks by Dutch workers. Originally used as a woolen mill, it became a corn mill, and was apparently used for a time as a semaphore tower. It stood until 1973 - when it was mysteriously/surreptitiously/criminally(?) demolished one Saturday night. It's demise apparently the source of discussion on the floor of the Dáil....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_07917

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 2951
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland feltrimhill swords malahide northcountydublin windmill quarry corallimestone dutchbilly feltrimwindmill feltrim haughey roadstone ladywell feltrimquarry

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    Rory_Sherlock

    • 03/Oct/2017 08:27:49

    It looks like it might be this windmill: maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V2,720250,744524,11,7 If so, it appears that the site (and the base of the structure) may have been preserved on a promontory within the quarry: binged.it/2xO0y4W

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Oct/2017 08:48:23

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] The Bing bird's eye view is pretty cool, too.

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    mcginley2012

    • 03/Oct/2017 08:51:30

    From the Independent July 1 2005 Feltrim Windmill THE story of the Feltrim windmill is one of the most dramatic in terms of Fingal’s heritage. Had it stood today, it would have matched Skerries for one of the most beautiful sights in the region. All that remains of the structure is part of the interior but even that is striking in its design. It should be noted that the structure is fenced off and on private property. The Feltrim windmill was built in the late 1600s from red Dutch bricks (still there) and by Dutch workers. It was used as a woolen mill to start and then a corn mill for up to 100 years, ending in the great storm of 1839 when the giant sails were blown off. It still stood magnificently for many decades later until 1973 when it was demolished on a Saturday night, ending centuries of dominance of the Feltrim skyline.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Oct/2017 08:51:35

    Per the Indo: The Feltrim windmill was built in the late 1600s from red Dutch bricks (still there) and by Dutch workers. It was used as a woolen mill to start and then a corn mill for up to 100 years, ending in the great storm of 1839 when the giant sails were blown off. It still stood magnificently for many decades later until 1973 when it was demolished on a Saturday night, ending centuries of dominance of the Feltrim skyline.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Oct/2017 08:52:57

    Someone swiped the tree. And the man ! - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000319601

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Oct/2017 09:47:26

    This image was at one time a Lawrence postcard

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Oct/2017 09:54:33

    The NIAH has an unlinkable record saying: Class: Windmill Townland: FELTRIM Scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the RMP: Yes Description: Located on the summit of Feltrim Hill. According to Flanagan this was erected as a woolen mill after 1667 using Dutch bricks (1984, 52, 59). It was converted to a corn mill in the 19th century. Originally this was of cylindrical shape and tapers towards the top rising to three-storeys in height. Demolished Oct.23rd 1973 except for the base. Substantial base remains located on a precipice overlooking the quarry. Very overgrown. So the date range is between 1667 and Oct 23rd 1973. :D

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Oct/2017 09:59:58

    According to this page it served as a semaphore tower for a while: Feltrim Hill is best remembered, to-day, for its wind mill or lack of it. The tower windmill was built in 1668 of best quality Dutch bricks and by craftsmen from Holland. It started out as a woolen mill and became a corn mill c.1700. Around 1800, it was used as a semaphore mill and transmitted messages from Dublin to the next hill tower, all the way to Belfast. In 1839 the sails of the windmill were blown off and up till Saturday night October 23rd. 1973, Feltrim Mill stood on the hill as an affectionate landmark for all who passed by. Sadly, on that fateful Saturday night it was demolished and the chains which helped to pull it down still are trapped underneath the bricks to-day. BTW, the storm mentioned in 1839 was the notorious "night of the big wind".

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Oct/2017 10:13:39

    An exchange in the Dáil about the Mill: Mr. Haughey: Let me be specific. In my immediate area we had a very prominent feature which was old Feltrim mill. Mr. Tully: Over the quarry? Mr. Haughey: Yes. Someone, who shall be nameless, came along one weekend when none of us was paying any attention and knocked it down. That was the end of it and there was nothing we could do about it. Mr. Tully: It is about the only thing that happened around that area night or day that somebody did not see. Mr. Haughey: It happened over a weekend. It is gone and the neighbours and everybody concerned were very annoyed about it. It is a great loss to the whole area. It was a very important amenity and it disappeared but there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. Mr. Tully: I do not think it was listed. Mr. Haughey: Even if it had been, what could we do about it? It disappeared. Mr. Tully: I do not think it was listed.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Oct/2017 10:21:35

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Ah, Niall! Were you not paying attention? 1667? It should be obvious that this photo is _after_ the Night of the Big Wind in 1839. ;)

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 03/Oct/2017 10:54:14

    no dogs or barefoot children but I have spotted a low flying crow ! Just back from kinderdjik be rotterdam - we have lost something wonderful

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Oct/2017 11:16:21

    I imagine the windmill originally looked a lot like this Dutch brick one from 1738, via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/] - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/12321439163/in/album-72157639124668326/]

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Oct/2017 11:20:09

    According to various newspaper articles in the 1970s, Mrs Charlie Haughey owned a sucesssfuk greyhound called Feltrim Mill.

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    O Mac

    • 03/Oct/2017 11:21:32

    The Dutch call them Briekenmolen. www.flickr.com/photos/erfgoed/21835871205/in/photolist-Fk...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Oct/2017 12:36:07

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Does this count as a 'Dutch Billy' ?

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    RETRO STU

    • 03/Oct/2017 13:59:26

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] A 'Dutch Billy' was a gable-ended house of the type that preceded the 18th century Georgian houses of Ireland. A few survive in Dublin, many well disguised.

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    RETRO STU

    • 03/Oct/2017 14:00:38

    Seems Charles Haughey knew who was responsible for the illegal demolition of that windmill and probably knew why, as well. I wonder why?

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Oct/2017 15:37:48

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] At the time suspicion fell on Roadstone, the company that owned the quarry, but Roadstone denied involvement.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Oct/2017 22:44:36

    Thanks all - especially [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]], [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley],[https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] and [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] for the extra info on the mill - and its demise. Shame that it survived for so long only to fall foul of (seemingly) commercial interests. I've updated the map and description to include some of today's interesting nuggets...

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    RETRO STU

    • 04/Oct/2017 09:25:05

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Thank you Bernard. That explanation would make perfect sense! Stuart.