The World’s Earliest Dated Tide Mill
Lecture by Thomas McErlean
Given at Brown University on November 5, 2015
Thomas McErlean discusses the story of the discovery the earliest mill in Ireland and the earliest presently known example of a tide mill in the world. The mill was constructed in the years AD 619-621 to service the Early Medieval monastery at Nendrum located on a tidal island in Strangford Lough in Ireland. The island was devoid of fresh water streams so the monks turned to the latent power of the twice-daily rise and fall of the tides, which washed the shore at the bottom of the monastic enclosure.