Abandoned ireland


Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills,

Co. Cork.

Documenting our Heritage

The Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills were built by Charles Henry Leslie in 1794. The British Board of Ordnance then purchased the mills in 1805 and went on to extend the production capabilities with the construction of a central canal to drive additional mills and the building of numerous further production buildings. The gunpowder produced was principally used for military purposes in the Napoleonic Wars however it was also used for the production of explosive charges used in mining and quarrying.

The Ballincollig barracks were also built nearby to house 18 officers, 242 men and eight field batteries, necessary to protect the whole production facility.

In 1834 the mills were sold to Thomas Tobin, around this time 200 workers were employed at the mills, producing some 16,000 barrels of gunpowder annually. The mills continued to expand and by the mid 1850s over 500 workers were employed. However, towards the end of the 19th century production was in decline as new methods of explosive production were discovered. After the end of the Boer War in 1901 the demand for gunpowder had fallen drastically.

In 1903 the mills were permanently closed.

In 1974 Cork County Council bought the mills and developed the area in to a Regional Park.

In 1993 a visitor centre was opened and the area developed into a tourist attraction, however the centre was never a success and in 2002 the visitor centre followed the mills demise and was also abandoned.

The area around the barracks has now been developed into Ballincollig shopping centre.

The Regional Park around the old mill buildings is freely open to the public.

Co. Cork