Elphin Windmill is a rare piece of Irish industrial architectural heritage. Elphin's No.1 tourist attraction is the only fully restored windmill in the west of Ireland, and a captivating landmark. Built in 1740, the mill was originally used for grinding wheat and barley. It thought to have been originally built by local Protestant landowner and Bishop of Elphin, Edward Synge.
Its thatched rye rotating roof (with four timber sails) is conected to a timber tail pole, resting on a cart wheel to the ground (used to direct the sail).
When the economic boom ended (in tandem with the Napoleonic Wars) the mill fell into disuse. In 1837 the mill was in ruins. It was sympathetically restored under a three-year project by the FÁS scheme in 1996. It now houses a visitor centre where the workings of the windmill are interpreted and demonstrated. Also on site is an agricultural museum housing a threshing machine, a winnower and other machinery associated with the harvesting of grain.
The tour guides are well-versed in local history and incredibly helpful, so this is a MUST-VISIT for anyone stopping by Elphin in search of ancestors.