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Report - Herdmans Flax Mill & Hydroelectric Station - Sion Mills - August 2015

Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Wow is all i can say! This place was amazing. We had already hit up one stunning mill complex in Northern Ireland at Barbour Threads then the next day we rocked up here and found another one to rival it! We tried to visit here on our 2009 Ireland trip but when we arrived there was an army of gardeners tending to the bowling green out front and we didnt even get out of the car. At the time it was a little heartbreaking as it looked stunning (if not a little confusing why a derp mill had a mint garden around it!) This time it was totally different experience, the garden was still nice but we turned up to find the place apparently deserted and the gates wide open. The new factory building the company built next door to replace this mill is now empty too and the whole place was virtually a free for all apart from one guy who was on site tending to the sluice gates for half an hour or so. He soon left locking us in and we had it to ourselves.

The mill itself is excellent, exactly how you want mills to be. Maybe it would have been nice to see a bit more machinery in situe still but the fabric of the building was great and every corner had a new cubby hole or hidden room to ferret around in. Parts of the mill appeared to have been 'restored' at some point but were now also sitting empty. We didnt bother with these bits really preferring to stick the the epic untouched parts.

The best part of this place was saved until last however. I had read that there was still a working hydroelectric plant on site and sure enough we could hear this running in mildly locked down part of the building. What i hadn't realised was the plant that this had replaced in 1996 was sitting there derelict next door.. Wow, the pictures speak for themselves i think!

wikipedia said:
Sion Mills was laid out as a model linen village by the Herdman brothers, James, John and George. In 1835 they converted an old flour mill on the River Mourne into a flax spinning mill, and erected a bigger mill behind it in the 1850s

The River Mourne was the reason that Herdman's Mill was built in Sion Mills, County Tyrone. It was founded in 1835 and is a large complex of now listed buildings, the most prominent of which was built in 1853 by William Henry Lynn of Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon, Belfast. This is a very large and handsome five-storey mill built in Italianate style of greyashlar stone quarried locally, with yellow brick extensions added in 1884 to 1900. There had been a series of corn mills on the site, (the earliest recorded in 1640), with the latest one rebuilt in 1828 which the three Herdman brothers from Belfast, and their partners, the Mulhollands, purchased from the Marquis of Abercorn, and this became part of the 1835 tow mill next to the river, now the three-storey "Old Mill". The immense water-power of the River Mourne provided 1000 water horsepower. The water-power and its history are still very much a feature of the Mill with the modern turbines, the newly developed river walks and picnic areas overlooking the huge weir and the 35 ft wide mill lade which flows on to run between the two main buildings of the Mill. There is also a complicated system of sluices and a suspension bridge ("the swinging bridge").
More info on http://www.sionmills.com/

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Cuuvin

28DL Colonial Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Yowsa, that's some proper industrial derpiness ya got there ! :thumb The hydro plant is especially :cool: cheers! :D
 

Choo Choo m8ty

Mr Reality Hacker
Regular User
#7
Bloody great stuff what a cracking looking place. Sure @Will Knot would like this one. Thanks for sharing and nice pics
 

strikey

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
i live in the willows and did a post about this before. those building that are sitting empty have camers and arnt always empty so probably good that you didnt enter. i couldnt get into the main mill building but i did find some cool under ground space in the big shed thing with half a wall missing and alot of fire extinguishers. these photos are amazing well done i think i seen some explorers in there up on a hill near a river walk way.
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#11
Both look cracking sites and good to see something new again, cheers for posting :thumb
 

SOA

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#12
Been on my list over here for AGES....seeing this means it has to be visited in the near future!
 

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