One of Galway's tidiest towns
Milltown County Galway
The village of Milltown is located on the N17 western corridor close to the Galway-Mayo border, 48km north of Galway City. The Clare River flows east-west through the village on its journey to the Corrib and is spanned by a fine limestone bridge built in 1856 as part of a Famine Relief Scheme. The present village is essentially a Sráid-Bhaile that has developed north and south of the bridge.
In former times the best ford crossing of the river was some fifty metres east of the present bridge and it was here that the De Birminghams built their castle to command and defend the ford. Near the castle, the old town grew up inhabited by castle retainers, tradesmen, stone-masons, smiths, weavers, tailors, horse boys, cowboys and corn millers.
Two mills were constructed along this stretch of the Clare River – O’Grady’s at Milltown and Birmingham’s at Lack- hence the name, the town of the mill or Baile an Mhuilinn. Milltown was called the town of the mill for at least four hundred years. Birmingham’s mill operated until the late 1800’s and O’Grady’s mill closed in the 1950s as a result of the Corrib Drainage Scheme.
The place we now know as Milltown made its first appearance in historical records in 1589. The eminent historian Hubert Knox points out in his History of Mayo that Sir Murrogh O’ Flahery and his army came to attack Edward Birmingham; they stormed the castle, burnt half of Milltown and destroyed the castle’s corn but failed to take the castle after a bloody fight. They then burnt sixteen other villages on their way back to Cong and seized three thousand cattle.
MIlltown has won 3 gold medal awards in the national Tidy Towns Competitions.
- National Tidy Towns Silver Medal 2016
- National Tidy Towns Bronze Medal 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
- County Award Winners 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
- County Award Runners Up 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013
- County Heritage Award Winners
- Pride of Place Awards Runners up – Category Three 2010
- SuperValu Endeavour Award 1993
- National Endeavour Award 1964