The water wheel at Fancroft Mill which is 4.5m in diameter is driven by a tributary of the Little Brosna River which forms the boundary between County Tipperary and County Offaly. The word Fancroft is an Anglicisation of Fionn Choradh, the white weir. Numerous waterways, flowing gently, powerfully gushing or marvellously quiet are fundamental to Fancroft and its appeal. A major conservation programme was begun in 2006 by Marcus and Irene Sweeney on this protected structure (of 320). New mill stones were installed in 2010 where visitors are taken on a guided tour of the complex.
They marvel at the massive rotating gears, are delighted by the whooshing, hypnotic sound of the water wheel and gaze in admiration at the wonderful joinery work of the milling experts, craftsmen from Weimar, Germany who executed the refurbishment of the milling equipment. A photographic display illustrates the many stages of the conservation project. A recently installed small generator now contributes to the domestic heating system. The mill is home to a significant colony of bats and in summer swallows swoop in and out over the wheel tending to their numerous chicks.
The extensive Gardens at Fancroft:
The gardens were created in the 1990s by previous owner Angela Jupe. Serious gardeners revel in a visit to Fancroft but it also holds great appeal for those with an interest in architecture, photography or wildlife while poets painters and dreamers find in it a haven of great peace and beauty in all seasons. More than 1km of this paved, gravelled or grassy invite visitors to ramble and explore the herbaceous borders, fruit paddocks, woodland, grass garden, walled garden and river paths. Structurally interesting are the Turret, Glass House and River Cabin.
There are numerous seats throughout, many offering shelter from a shower and encourage rest and reflection in this lovely place. The recent installation of ramps and further paved areas has increased the number of accessible areas to users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
NOTE: To visit, please contact the property directly to make arrangements.
If requested when arranging a visit, refreshments can be provided in 'The Mill Tea Rooms'. Home baked treats are served, fruit juices and cheeses are sourced locally. Toilets are accessed through the Tea Rooms. There is ample parking for cars and coaches.