Connemara domestic Corn Mill

Artist(s) : Thomas Colville Scott (Draughtsman)

Sketch of a hand quern, referred to by the author as a corn mill, of a type that was commonly used in Connemara households.
Tim Robinson notes that the drawing was copied from an illustration in the chapter on Leitrim in Mr and Mrs S.C. Hall’s Ireland: Its Scenery, Character, &c., Vol. III (London, 1843).

Thomas Colville Scott, A Survey of the Martin Estate, edited and introduced by Tim Robinson (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1995).

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – "Connamara domestic Corn Mill."

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Pencil works
Subject(s) Agriculture, Rural life
Geographical Location
  • Roundstone - Village -
    Scene supposedly set on south coast of Roundstone Bay, but source of image may be in Co. Leitrim.
  • Connemara - Region
  • Galway - County
  • Connaught - Province
Keywords(s) Milling machines, Mills, Tools
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 5.7 cm x 4.4 cm
Published / created 1853

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland: Journal of a visit to Connemara
Note The remark by Tim Robinson is on p. 97
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy p. 34
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 49525
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Our peregrinations today terminated in a Fisherman’s Cottage, on the south side of Roundstone Bay. While waiting for the tide to float out host’s boat, we assisted his daughter and a servant girl (all Connemara men whose livestock amounts to two cows, keep a servant, however numerous their own family may be) to grind some barley into meal with one of their domestic Mills which are simply two Granite stones, about eighteen inches diameter, and four inches thick, fixed on the top of each other by a small iron pin: the ‘Millers’ sit on the floor and turn the top stone round by a small crank handle, and every minute or so, one of them puts a handful of the grain into an orifice in the centre of the top stone. These Mills do very well, where labor has no market value, and where no public Mills are, or ever can be, supported; but there are now many small hand mills made by English Machinists which would yield ten times the product under the same expenditure of Manual exertion. The others, however, are in universal use: and, while speaking on this point, I must remark on the many parallel cases of misapplied labor which prevail in Ireland; particularly in respect to the cultivation of the soil, every spot of which, however limited in extent, barren in productive power, or inaccessible in situation, is turned up, and, in many cases, beautifully tilled. I always feel a sorrowful neglect to see so much mistaken industry, – the crops do not half repay it; no English labourer would undertake a tithe of the toil for the whole reward; and in fact, it looks like a blindfolded war with nature, in which Paddy does himself great injustice, there being no fair field for him. [pp. 33-34]
Connemara domestic Corn Mill