The word ‘Skerries’ translates to mean ‘the rocks’ in Gaelic and this location is reputed to be the place where St Patrick landed in Ireland. The location of these windmills was once the site of a prehistoric fort. It is the highest point in the town and commands magnificent views out to the sea and also of the surrounding countryside. The story of stone-ground milling in Skerries can be traced to the early 16th century when the land belonged to the Priory of Holmpatrick: an Augustinian monastic foundation. The Small Windmill with its thatched conical roof dates back to 1525 while The Great Windmill dates to 1750. The mills were used for grinding wheat, oats, and barley using both wind power and water power. Before the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, it was reported that The Canons Regular of St Augustin of Holmpatrick owned over 1000 acres of land here and counted the watermills among their possessions. The windmills have been a popular symbol for holiday posters and have been painted by famous artists including Alexander Williams and Harry Kernoff. The windmills are now a top educational tourist attraction where you can learn all about the history of milling.