Irish Flour Milling

A History 600-2000

By: Andrew Bielenberg

Publication Date: January 2004


This book brings together a series of essays which unfold and illuminate the history of the Irish flour milling industry from the medieval period to the present day. Milling was one of Ireland’s foremost industries. It played a critically important role in the local economy of many districts, servicing farmers needs and processing some of the key components in the Irish food supply. Despite being the most widely dispersed industry in the country, with bread and other milling components playing a central role in the Irish diet, the topic has not received the attention it deserves from social or economic historians, who’ve focused more on the potato. This book addresses that lacunae and incorporates a range of new research to form a compre-hensive overview.

Attractively illustrated by a large collection of photographs and drawings, Irish Flour Milling will be of particular interest to social, economic and local historians, industrial archaeologists, ethnologists and anthropologists, and the many people with family connections to the industry: Bolands, Hallinans and Hughes; Pollexfens, Russells, Odlums and Shackletons.

Contributors include:

  • Dr Colin Rynne (NUI, Cork), on the industrial archaeology of Irish flour milling from the medieval period to 1880
  • Professor Louis Cullen (Trinity College, Dublin), on eighteenth-century flour milling
  • Dr Andy Bielenberg (NUI, Cork), on flour milling during the Union
  • Dr Richard Harrison (historian), on the Quakers and Irish flour milling 1790-1930
  • Glynn Jones (author of The Millers), on the introduction of rollers into flour milling 1880-1925
  • Dr Akihiro Takei (Osaka Gakuin University), on the political economy of Irish flour milling 1922-45
  • Norman Campion (milling consultant), on Irish milling since the Second World War.


Andrew Bielenberg is author of Cork’s Industrial Revolution (1991) and Locke’s Distillery (1993), and editor of The Irish Diaspora (2000) and The Shannon Scheme and the Electrification of the Irish Free State (2002). He lectures in history at the National University of Ireland, Cork.

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 156 × 235 mm

Hardback, 215pp

Publication Date

January 2004