Cavan Water Mill, formerly Lifeforce Mill, is a 19th-century mill located in Cavan. The current building dates from 1846 and contains a notable MacAdam water turbine. Having been abandoned in the 1960s, it was restored as a museum and visitor attraction in the 1990s.
History of the site
The current mill was established by the Greene family in 1846. During the 1840s, there were 90 working water mills in County Cavan, but at the time this mill was built it was the only one within a two-mile radius.
The building operated as a mill for more than a century until its closure in the 1960s. Following restoration, it operated again for a short while as a working mill for the creation of wholemeal flour for Lifeforce Foods.
Design of the building
The two-storey design has a three-bay extension at split level to the west and a two-storey return to the side. An adjacent mill building to the north was removed from its original site and rebuilt here in 1995 as part of the mill's restoration. As the only surviving example of one of the five mills that stood in Cavan Town, it is listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for Ireland.
Cavan Water Mill operates a MacAdam turbine as opposed to a conventional water wheel. The turbine was described as one of the few, if not the only surviving MacAdam turbines in Ulster in 1983. The turbine may be an example of 19th-century industrial espionage, as it is believed to be a patent infringing copy of a design by Benoît Fourneyron. A similar turbine was installed at Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills, Cork in 1853.
- "Green Mill or the Life Force Mill". cavanwalkinghistory.ie. Cavan Walking History. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Mulvihill, Mary (2002). Ingenious Ireland. Dublin: TownHouse and CountryHouse Ltd. p. 226. ISBN 1860591450. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- "Main Record – County Cavan". buildingsofireland.ie. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Anglo Celt, Professor Alan Crocker. Retrieved from http://www.anglocelt.ie/photostore/image-31352