How it started!
I found this place in late October of 2014 when on holidays visiting my brother. We did a 15 km kayak in the Ocean from Union Hall to Turk's head. We came back to The Mill for a party afterwards. At the same time Chris wanted to invest in a project and we met Fi who was teaching archery at the hostel for the previous number of years. We formed a company and in November of 2014 Paul took over all management of the site and got stuck in. The place was in bits!
The state of the place!
Beds were broken and rotten with graffiti (it's amazing the amount of male body parts that were drawn on the bunks! Lights didn't work and water leaked. One comment said 'after running for 3km I decided not to take a shower as I didn't want to get dirtier!' Outside was like a waste area and the secret garden was a landfill. Toilets were manky and ceilings had holds!
The King's Table.
I found this table down in The Den, two floors down from The King's Hall. It was painted red gloss and shoved into a corner. It is believed to have originally come from a convent and was used to iron sheets. I took it apart and cleaned it down. I assembled it in The King's Hall. It is thought to be about 150 years old.
The main toilets were built using wood from a tree fallen in the storms. In the female toilets, pebbles, mirror and broken tiles were used to create the mosaic river effect. The male toilets are hand painted by Katelyn Lester. She very kindly included a secret message in the bark of one of the trees. Can you find it?
The copper pipes were polished and sprayed with a varnish to stop oxidising. The soap holders are blocks of wood and climbing rope and the toilet paper holders use archery arrows to hold them in place.
The Secret Garden
is beside the kitchen and barbeque. It's a great use of a ruins. It's really warm in the summer, up to 46 degrees celsius, we can grow tropical fruit. It's a dry and sheltered space with plenty of seating. I made it with 3112 bottles of beer. I saved them from November 2015. All bottles were the same size and the consistent buying of all three colours evenly worked out well! The walls were built in September of 2016.It was hard work but building was easy and fun! Pineapples are grown in the old toilet cisterns.
The 'sack' with the flour 'stamp' idea came after months of looking at an ugly blue, sharp edged plastic barrel everyday. The bit of lagging I found created the nice rolled sack effect. The 'stamp' was hand painted with flour (what we believe the mill produced, 1801 (the year the hostel was built) and what it is now (Russagh Mill Hostel).