Ballycopeland Windmill, Millisle, Co. Down lies on the outskirts of the coastal Co. Down village. The village, of course, takes its name from the mill. During World War Two, it became a landmark to the Jewish refugee children from the nearby Kinderfarm at Ballyrolly House, Millisle, Co. Down.
Once there were more than a hundred mills in the county, but the plastered and whitewashed tower at Millisle, Co. Down remains while the others disappeared over the years. It is the only remaining windmill in the east of Co. Down with a fully-working original mechanism. This includes the patented Hooper Roller Reefing gear that operates the sails on calm days. Built in the late 18th or early 19th century, it operated until The Great War after which time, it fell into disrepair. The first documentation of a working building on the site comes from Ordnance Survey maps from the 1830s when the Magilton family ran the mill.
In 1935, the Northern Ireland Government acquired the site and it lay disused for many decades. Between 1950 and 1978, a restoration project brought the Ballycopeland Windmill back to full working order. Several further restoration projects have taken place over the decades. The latest commenced in September 2019.
The nearby Miller’s House contains a visitor’s centre. This house stands in its original position, along with a kiln, and the drying floor.