Brought back from virtual extinction the Foxford Wollen mills are now a thriving concern. located in Foxford they are not only a working mill, but one of the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.
A tour around the mill is only 3 euro or so - although come on a weekday (not FRI pm) to see things actually moving and churning out the goods. History hangs heavily about the place, and this makes for a good tourist experience.
The massive giftshop is wher they perhaps make more money, and even here there are some artefacts, old pictures, advertising and furniture from the hey days of the mill.
The giftshop features not jsut their own products but just about every other tourist orientated manufacture from Ireland. Newbridge, Waterford and all the usual suspects have extensive ranges here.
The cafe looks the part as well, with a good range of calorific horrors to enjoy.
I especially like this photo from the 'old days'. The mill was established by a Mother superior - so here all the workers are hard at work on their rosaries. There must be an academic paper somewhere to be written about how Catholic religious communities just seem to love becomeing involved in menial back-breaking work - for others.
Next to Foxford wollen mills stands a small museum dedicated to one Admiral Brown. Far from being important in Irish history, he is seen as a major figure in the history of Argentina.
Although born here, his family emigrated to North America. A chance encounter on the Delaware river led to him being taken on as 'cabin boy'. From those lowly beginning he worked his way up the ladder (or should that be rigging ?) become a merchant trader. He led a life of high adventure, escaping prison on occasions and ending up defeating the Spanish navy at the Battle of the River Plate. It was this victory that led directly to the establishment of the Argentine nation.
His life of derring-do is all laid here, it's a swashbucking ride even if you have no connection to Argentina - if you do then it might become a must-see fro you.