Patterson’s Spade Mill

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Patterson’s Spade Mill, in the townland of Carnanee, near Templepatrick in County Antrim, is the last water-driven spade mill still working in the British Isles. It stands on a site with a long industrial heritage, and strong Ulster-Scots roots.

It is believed that the Patterson family came to Ulster from Lowland Scotland in the 1600s. They were involved in various mills, before settling in Carnane.

Crafting a spade was a great skill and workers needed to have a vast knowledge of a huge variety of different spades. Ireland had over 170 different types of spades and the skills required to raft each one were passed from generation to generation and learned on the job. At its peak in the 1930s and 1940s, the mill employed over a dozen men.

Guided tours of this National Trust property vividly capture life during the Industrial Revolution and dig up the history and culture of the humble spade.


751 Antrim Road, Templepatrick, County Antrim, BT39 0AP

0044 28 9443 3619