Our walk in the eastern side of Ballincollig Regional Park (where the Gunpowder Mill and former Visitor’s Centre is) on Saturday afternoon started at the Mill. The image below shows the recently repaired Mill housing, with water flowing in the canal near it. Damage to the protective”shed” housing the Mill, in 2011 caused outrage among those concerned with heritage in Ballincollig itself and beyond. The timber “shed” surrounding the only surviving mill (which is fully functional due to extensive restorative work several years ago) has been repaired….you can see the lighter coloured wood. The canal alongside it now has water flowing in it…in an effort to keep vandals out of the Mill and Blast wall area which used to be part of the highlight of a visit to the Gunpowder Mills Heritage centre. Congratulations to all those involved in getting the recent repair work done and the canal working again….it doesn’t happen without a lot of effort and determination. Jenny Webb, Patricia Power (Cork County Council) and Fred Hammond all contributed to bringing these repairs about.
Above is a close up of the mill showing the repair work and the blast walls behind it.
Walking along the path which has many ruined buildings visible through the overgrowth, you can see efforts by the authorities to close off the buildings. One of these, shown above shows that one of the metal grilles which was added in mid-2011, is already completely removed.
Our leisurely walk took us of the beaten path where you come across other ruined buildings such as the Magazine shown above. There are many ruined buildings, all of which had a purpose in the grand scheme which was the Gunpowder Mills. Now, they are mysterious, eerie and exciting to stumble into, while walking in the park.
Surprisingly, the door of the former Visitors’ Centre was open….with people moving items into the building. Could this be the new tenants? According to the Cork Independent 19th Jan. 2011, these tenants are The Cork Screen Commission, established jointly by the Cork City and County Councils and managed by the Cork Film Centre.
We got back into the car and took a small side trip to photograph the Long Range which used to be workers cottages. Then up the hill with another side trip to the Landing Field.
The above image shows a Culm Store (coal store) which is at the side of the Water treatment plant and the Landing Field area now used for soccer matches. With a muddied car, we carried on up the hill to the main road and home.
Apparently, walking trails are planned for Ballincollig….and these will encompass the Regional Park and Military Barracks areas. This can only be good!