Enjoy history, learn about the milling industry and observe unique birds at Blennerville Windmill. Look for a wide white tower with four broad blades at the top. It stands near the water in peaceful Tralee Bay with a view of the mountains behind.
One of the last commercially operated mills of its kind in Ireland, Blennerville Windmill is a restored 19th-century flour windmill. It was built to help feed Ireland and produce grain for export to England, its blades powered by the strong winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. At over 69 feet (21 meters) tall, it is also one of the tallest windmills in Europe. Enter the five-story windmill to see how all its moving parts work together. Learn, step by step, how flour is made.
In the Visitor Centre, browse audiovisual displays telling the story of this unique industrial site. At one time, Blennerville was the main port for Tralee. Many thousands of emigrants left from these shores during the Great Famine, hoping to find a new life. The trips were so dangerous that the boats were called “coffin ships.” Learn about one very famous ship, the emigrant barque Jeanie Johnston, which made 16 voyages over the Atlantic Ocean and never lost a passenger or crew member. See the story of famine and emigration beautifully illustrated on a commemorative quilt hand-made by local Tralee residents.
Find a platform here from which to look out through a telescope at the rich and varied birdlife of Tralee. The site is called "Slí na nÉan” (the “Way of the Birds”). In adjacent Tralee Bay Nature Reserve, look for local birds in their natural environment. You might see turnstone, ringed plover, redshank and the migratory pale-bellied brent geese when they come to feed here between October and April. Stop and have a drink and snack at the on-site cafeteria and purchase Irish souvenirs.
Include Blennerville Windmill on your trip on the Dingle Loop Drive, one of Ireland’s many scenic routes. The windmill is open from April to October and there is an admission fee. Outside these times you can still admire the grounds and exterior.