Patterson's Spade Mill digs around for a talented Spade Maker

Feel the heat at Patterson's Spademill

As August Craft Month has drawn to a close, the National Trust is seeking the skills of a talented Spade Maker to manage the only working water-driven spade mill in daily use in the UK. Patterson’s Spade Mill in Templepatrick vividly captures life during the Industrial Revolution by unearthing the history of the humble spade.

The Spade Maker is needed to oversee the manufacture of hand crafted spades using traditional methods in the industrial heritage site. Ensuring that each spade is made to the standard required by the National Trust, this energetic candidate will lead the team at the Spade Mill assuming responsibility for leading daily operations including visitor management, preservation of the grounds and financial performance.

Upon announcing this position Josh Watts, National Trust Belfast, General Manager said “Before 1750, most spades in Ireland were made by blacksmiths, but by the early to mid-19th century, spades were produced in specialised mills. This job is a totally unique opportunity for someone with the right skills to join the Belfast National Trust team. We are looking for a Spade Maker with a love of the craft, an appreciation for our special places, and a can-do attitude to share the heritage of Patterson’s Spade Mill with members and visitors from around the world.”

If this sounds like a job for you, visit to find out more about the vacancy.

If you would like to go along and hear the hammers, smell the grit and find out the origins of the phrase ‘a face as long as a Lurgan Spade’, Patterson’s Spade Mill will be open every weekend in September 12pm – 4pm. Normal Admission and National Trust members free admission.

For further information visit Instagram – nationaltrustbelfast #pattersons #spademill #placesmatter

James, our blacksmith hard at work
James at Patterson's Spademill
James, our blacksmith hard at work