Ballycopeland Windmill is the only remaining working windmill in East Down. It was built in the late 18th or early 19th century and was worked until the First World War when it fell into disrepair. It was gradually restored between 1950 and 1978 to full working order.
The interpretation of Ballycopeland windmill celebrates the complex as a unique historical asset and brings to life the fascinating stories of those who lived and worked in this last functional windmill in Northern Ireland.
The interpretation consists of various panels across the site which explore the history of Ballycopeland, the functions of the windmill, the stories of the millers who lived and made their livelihood at Ballycopeland and the efforts to preserve the windmill for future generations. These interpretive panels are complemented by a suite of delivery mechanisms to help bring these stories to life.
There are a number of physical interactives which allow visitors to discover the processes involved in milling grain and understand the forces at play within the windmill itself.
There are also several audiovisual elements across the windmill site. These interventions included a scene-setting video and audio which bring visitors back in time to when the windmill was a working site (with talking silhouettes in the coal store and the authentic noise of the windmill in operation) and a touchscreen with an innovative 3D model of the windmill. These AV interventions allow visitors to explore the inner-workings of the windmill and appreciate the day-to-day realities of working at a windmill like Ballycopeland.
There is also a family-friendly activity guide that allows young visitors the chance to explore and engage with the interpretation. Working with an illustrator, we developed ‘Millie the Mouse’; a character that appeared around the site and pointed out things of interest for young people to engage and interact with.
A suite of directional signage ensures that visitors are confident in navigating the site. This will be supported by a visitor guide card offering a physical map and overview of the unique Ballycopeland windmill complex.
A small visitor centre is located inside the Millers house with a Cafe onsite open to the public. Disabled access is not possible within the windmill. This is a group of traditional buildings on a sloping site with changes of level. Wheelchair users can gain access to the exhibition but may find this difficult. Some parts of the complex are inaccessible for wheelchairs.
Please note: Online booking is essential. A limited number of tickets may be available on the day however cannot be guaranteed. Tours of the windmill can now be booked on the official Ballycopeland Windmill website https://www.ballycopelandwindmill.com .
Getting to the start by car
Directions from Town:On B172 from Newtownards, a mile west before Millisle.
Price from £
Booking is essential. Please book via https://www.ballycopelandwindmill.com.