Embark on a journey to the past with a visit to Blennerville Windmill, a unique and engaging piece of Irish heritage located in the village of Blennerville, just outside Tralee in County Kerry. This beautifully restored 19th-century windmill is not only the tallest of its kind in Ireland, but also a significant historical landmark, reminding us of the county's industrial heritage and its connections to the wider world.
Sir Rowland Blennerhassett originally built the windmill around 1800, which now stands against the idyllic backdrop of Tralee Bay and the Slieve Mish Mountains. It was part of the thriving local industry, grinding local grain into flour for bread-making and later feeding livestock. Today, it stands as an emblem of Ireland's past, restored to its former glory.
Visitors to Blennerville Windmill are transported back in time. As you ascend the steep, narrow stairs to each level, your guide will explain the function of each floor, giving a fascinating insight into the mechanics of the windmill and the work that would have taken place there. Upon reaching the top, you're rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Adjacent to the windmill is the visitor centre, which houses an exhibition on Irish emigration, focusing particularly on the Great Famine of the mid-19th century. It showcases the Blennerville Emigration Station's role as the main port of emigration in Kerry during the Famine years. Here, you can gain a deeper understanding of this devastating period in Ireland's history.
A model railway exhibition, depicting life in 19th century Kerry, also adds to the charm of the visit. Meanwhile, outside, the wildflower garden and riverside walk provide a tranquil space to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Whether you're a history buff, an engineer, a nature lover, or a family in search of a fun and educational day out, Blennerville Windmill has something for everyone. It's a trip that offers a captivating blend of history, technology, and natural beauty, providing a rich and memorable visitor experience.