Sluice at Collon, Co Louth

ACS were recently appointed as archaeological consultants to advise on a proposed development in Collon, Co. Louth. Collon had a very important role to play during the 17th to 19th century as a major manufacturing centre for the cotton and linen industries. Most of the activity centred around the Bleaching Green and Mattock river to the south-east of the town but the present site proposed for redevelopment is in the town centre and includes this industrial feature which is now overgrown and resembles an archaeological feature. It is marked as a sluice on the second edition Ordnance Survey maps and appears to have been designed to temporarily hold water coming from a pre-existing stream before letting it through a sluice gate and cascade off towards the River Mattock further south. The feature is quite a significant one on site and will be retained as part of any development and suggests an industrial history for the site, maybe one of the many mills associated with Collon's long lived linen and cotton industry. The buildings on site date from the 18th to early 19th century and were surely built by the Foster family who built up the substantial cotton and linen industry here.