Royal Gunpowder Mills, Ballincollig Co. Cork is a unique and
exciting Industrial Complex, which meanders along the bank of the
Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills were established in 1794 by Charles Henry Leslie a leading
Cork bank family. Eleven years later, when Napoleon's control of
France posed a grave threat to Britain the British Board of
Ordnance bought the mills from Leslie. As well as this the Army
Barracks was built in town to protect the supply of gunpowder.
1837 the mills employed about 200 workers and produced about
16,000 barrels of gunpowder. By the mid 1880's the Royal Gunpowder
was one of the largest Industrial
establishments in the Cork area. About 500 men and boys were
employed and a wide range of skills were in use in the mills -
coopering, millwrighting, carpentry as well as other skills
associated with gunpowder production.
many buildings used in the manufacture of gunpowder are still
scattered along the main canal and millraces which stretched along
the main canal and millraces which stretched for about a mile and
a half along the Southern bank of the River Lee.
mills complex covers over 130 acres. One of the most important
features of the mills was the main canal which acted both as a
means of transport and also provided power to drive the
waterwheels and a water turbine which worked the sawmills. The
canal was fed from a weir on the River Lee. The entrance was
controlled by sluice gates which have recently been restored.
The Visitors’ Centre at the Ballincollig Gunpowder
Mills was closed in 2002 but it is still possible for visitors to
enjoy the walk along the designated path and see the ruins of the
old buildings) associated with the Mills. One can look through the
fence at the restored Incorporating Mills.”
are generally accessible for people with disabilities.
further information contact: