Report - - Odlums National Flour Mill, Cork. April 2015 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Odlums National Flour Mill, Cork. April 2015


Don’t panic flight mechanic
28DL Full Member
Odlums have been producing flour in Ireland since 1845 and remain one of the few flour mills still in operation on the island today. Odlums in Cork looks to have started operation in 1934, although there seems to have been a corn store building on the site since 1892. Whether it belonged to Odlums from the start I’m not sure. The old maps seem to lump it in with Marina Mills which is R&H Hall and Southern Milling Co. now. In 1932 the government had introduced tariffs on imports of various commodities to encourage native manufacturing and make the country more self sufficient. Flour milling in Ireland enjoyed a second heyday increasing capacity over the next five years. By the 1950s however, demand was shrinking. The withdrawal of government subsidies for flour in 1957 resulted in rationalisation of the industry which halved the number of mills in production - Odlums owned seven, while another well known name, Ranks, still had four with a further six independents. I’m not sure who’s all still in the game here these days apart from Odlums, who are still going at their original site in Port Arlington.

Odlums in Cork managed to hang on until closure in 2009, the fall in sterling and oversupply of flour from the UK were cited as the reasons for the mill becoming uneconomical. They primarily supplied catering and bakery clients so I imagine they would never have been as profitable as the mills supplying retail. I have to admit to being seduced by the distinctive heart shaped owl face on the packaging if I’m buying flour. I’m sure the ‘buy Irish’ and ‘guaranteed Irish’ campaigns help keep the brand a household staple here. The main building is a protected structure and supposed to be redeveloped along with other sites along the quay - you know, the usual luxury hotel, offices, apartments etc. that fail to materialise every five years.

Can’t quite believe this was five years ago now. Anyway, I had a bit of free time one idle Saturday to have some fun and decided to give this a punt. I had no idea what to expect really, when I arrived demolition had stathe red brick silo to the east of the main building and the sheds in the yard. All was quiet on site though so it was pretty hassle free all round. I can only apologise for the shit photos, there’s plenty of high ISO hand held specials and I didn’t have a wangle at the time so kit lens close ups it is. At the end of the day, not a whole lot left to see but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

First photo is not mine! I couldn’t rescue the few externals I took. Anyway it seems to have been taken at a similar time to when I visited as you can see the demo work starting on the silo.


Starting at the end

Equipment in the back yard awaiting it’s fate

A bit from maintenance

cool instrument for measuring viscosity and shear of dough

Flour colour grader, series 2 if you please.

Main stair well with pigeon scutter and an odd safety sign

Lab - no toys to play with in here really

There was tonnes of old documentation to rummage through. This one was quite cool.

Flour sacks with the owl logo. The owl is part of the Odlum family crest.

Bag printing?




From the silo

looking back towards the city

Thanks for looking :)



28DL Regular User
Regular User
Saw this from a distance when I was in Cork over the New Year. Nice mooch that...and great set of pcitures.