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Ballincollig Hertigage



Ballincollig Gunpowder Mill


The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Ballincollig Co. Cork is a unique and exciting Industrial Complex, which meanders along the bank of the river Lee.

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.


In 1837 the mills employed about 200 workers and produced about 16,000 barrels of gunpowder. By the mid 1880's the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Ballincollig 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.

The 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. The 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.”


Pathways are generally accessible for people with disabilities.


For further information contact:
Tel: 022-24244




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Last modified: Monday April 29, 2013
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