The only surviving windmill in Co Down
County Down is one of the best grain-growing areas in Ireland and windmills have long been a prominent feature of the landscape. At one time, over 100 windmills were recorded in the county of Down. There are several remains left, but Ballycopeland Windmill is the only one to survive intact.
The McGilton family worked the windmill until the First World War, after which the family saved the mill buildings, by giving them to the state.
The windmill has been fully restored to its former fully working condition, as has the miller's house that forms part of the visitor attraction. The miller’s house now features an audiovisual presentation of the workings and history of the mill along with a fully reconstructed grain store. The site is now managed by Environment and Heritage Service.
The mill is of the tower type with a mobile cap. This is moved by a fantail, in order to keep the sails facing the prevailing wind. It has two entrance doors - a west door to allow access, should the main east door be blocked by the sails.
By Catherine Lynagh