John Murphy

Our Story

Ballyminane Mill is the very last working water-powered flour mill in the country that is producing flour at a commercial level. The only bit of electrical power that we use is in the cleaning of the grain and stitching the bag. Everything else is powered by water.

Records show that the mill dates back to 1832 through Griffiths Evaluation. Micheal Murphy – my grandfather – bought the mill in 1925 and his son Aidan continued on right up to his passing in January 2019. Aidan was the last true “Master Miller” of his generation. I have been running the mill since 2008.

The wheat, which is sourced locally from 2 or 3 different grain companies, is ground through a set of french burr milling stones. The grain has to be a minimum 11% protein and moisture level of 14%. My number one priority is quality not quantity. The working of the mill ensures that the stones do not overheat, the wheat grain used is not damaged, and that is what gives this stoneground wholemeal flour its unique and authentic flavour that sets it apart from any other flour in the market.

Our Farm

Ballyminane Mills is situated in the picturesque river valley 5 miles from Enniscorthy. The water that is used comes from the Blackstairs Mountains. As it flows down from the mountain along the river, it meets up where it enters the mill race through a weir gate. This mill race is 22 yards short of a mile and it flows through 5 different farms. The water from the mill race enters the pond (the holding area) where we open the sluice gate. The water flows on top of the water wheel, fills the buckets so the weight of the water in the buckets makes the wheel turn.

The waterwheel is 12ft in diameter and it’s made up of 64 douglas fur timber brackets, with the shell of the wheel being cast iron shroud. Our wheel is an overshot water wheel, which means the water enters the wheel from the top. This is the most efficient wheel to operate as it needs less water to keep the wheel operating.

The water that exits from the buckets flows down a ‘tail race’ and joins back up with the main river. This river is called the Urrin River which joins the River Slaney in Enniscorthy and flows down to Wexford and out into the Irish Sea.

John Murphy

John Murphy