Opening times for 2 December 2023
Asset Opening time Spade Mill 10:00 - 16:00
Patterson's Spade Mill will be open on the first Saturday of each month for prebooked Guided Tours and a special interactive guided tour. Commissions and Blacksmithing Classes are still available. Look at our 'Things to see and do' page for further information.MTWTFSS2728293012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
We have a large car park on site with designated disabled parking. The carpark is no more than 50 yards from the front of the Spade Mill.
Separate mobility parking, 50 yards. Drop-off point. Adapted toilet adjacent to reception. Dogs welcome on leads. Ramped entrance to building. One wheelchair. Ground floor accessible. Audio visual/video.
There are accessible toilets located in visitor reception.
Audio loops in visitor reception.
Level access to shop
A wheelchair is available at Patterson's Spade Mill and Forge. To avoid disappointment, please book in advance by telephoning 028 9751 0131 or by email to email@example.com.
There are some low doorways, and narrow corridors.
Fan the flames and hear the hammers as you step into the heart of traditional spade-making.
The National Trust is for everyone, and at Patterson's Spade Mill our team have been working hard to improve accessibility to enable more visitors to enjoy this special place.
Spade Mill and Forge
See history literally forged in steel at the last working water-driven spade mill in daily use in the British Isles, which was built in 1832.
Discover the art of blacksmithing with classes at Patterson's Spade Mill. Whether you're looking for a new hobby, or a day out with a difference, Blacksmithing classes at Patterson's Spade Mill are an unforgettable experience. For more information visit our things to see and do pages.
Available to order, our experienced team can make you your very own Patterson Spade. We also take commissions for bespoke items forged here at the mill. Whether you need a companion set, a coat rack or even something unusual, our blacksmiths will put metal to flame and work their magic. For more information visit our things to see and do pages.
The water turbine was brought back into operation by engineer Roy McMeekin in 1994, and it powers some thirty other machines through a system of belts and drives, which between them facilitate the many complex stages of hand-made spades.
The mill pond is reached up a steep narrow path behind the finishing sheds and consists of a channel some 100m long by 3-4m wide, terminating at a small sluice, controlling the flow of water. Before mains electricity was installed, the site was powered exclusively by water. This was abstracted from the Ballymartin River at a point some half a mile upstream of the mill; a rubble-stone weir diverted part of the flow into the headrace which crosses under the main road just east of a lay-by.
Red hot billets of steel are removed from the forge and fashioned into spades using the mills massive trip hammer.
Discover the last working water-driven spade mill in daily use in the British Isles, learn about the old art of forging and have a go at making something yourself.
Hear the hammers, smell the grit and feel the heat of traditional spade-making.
Guided tours vividly capture life during the Industrial Revolution and dig up the history and culture of the humble spade.
Find out the origins of the phrase 'a face as long as a Lurgan spade'.
Continuing a legacy of hundreds of years of spade making, learn about our work to keep heritage skills alive and fire up a passion for traditional blacksmithing.