Causeway Coastal Route
Welcome to Hamill Terrace
Renowned as the gateway to the Giant's Causeway and for the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, Bushmills has a unique heritage of historic buildings and mills.
Images (clockwise from top)
Bushmills Mills, Bushmills Distillery sign, The Causeway Tram c.1890
[Map and Causeway Coastal Route Journey linear locator]
Among many prizes, Bushmills whiskey was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1889.
Though people have lived in this area for centuries, it was in the 1600s that the first mills appeared here along the River Bush.
Under the influence of the Macnaghten family, who built several of the fine buildings you see today, like the Courthouse and Old School, Bushmills began to develop in the early 1800s. Seven water mills generated energy for the production of flax, paper and corn and the village also boasted an award-winning spade factory. The village grew as a tourist resort as part of the railway from Portrush to the Giant's Causeway and the increasing fame of the whiskey produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery.
Old Bushmills Distillery
On 20 April 1608 King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips a license to distill 'uisce beatha' (the Irish for 'water of life', later anglicised as 'whiskey') here. In 1784 the Old Bushmills Distillery was officially recognised as a company, taking the pot still, the traditional method of distilling Irish whiskey, as its trademark. The world's oldest licensed distillery welcomes visitors for daily tours.
Just two miles from here is one of the great wonders of the world, the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its spectacular 40,000 interlocking basalt columns were created by volcanic activity millions of years ago (or the legendary Irish giant Fionn McCool!). This most famous of Northern Irish attractions can be reached from here on the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway. The Giant's Causeway can also be reached by Park and Ride from the village.
Causeway School Museum
Among Bushmills many beautifully preserved old buildings is the Causeway School near the Giant's Causeway. It was designed by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis who also designed the famous Portmeirion village in Wales and several buildings in Cushendun in the Glens of Antrim.
Among many prizes, Bushmills whiskey was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, sharing the headlines with a temporary exhibit called the Eiffel Tower, which was unveiled at the same time.
The small tributary of the River Bush that provided the pure, peat-incensed water integral to the making of Bushmills whiskey is named St. Columb's Rill, after the early Christian missionary who preached in this area.
The Macnaghten family home, was designed by the great architect Charles Lanyon, responsible for many of Belfast's most important Victorian buildings. It still stands above the village.
Images clockwise from top left
Walkmill Falls, Map by Christopher Coles, Palmers Mill, Bushmills village