Spade and Scutch Mill

Spade and Scutch Mill

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Cultra, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum




Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project



black and white


03min 00sec




British Film Institute, UTV

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Two essential tools of agriculture come together in these rushes by UTV. Watch the whirling scutching blades that release the flax fibres from their woody core. This is a dusty dangerous job that produces the raw material for the illustrious Irish linen. Meanwhile fire which threatens the scutch mill is put to good use in Patterson’s spade mill. The blacksmith channels the powerful force of the watermill and the forge to hammer out the country’s leading rival to the plough.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


As rural ways of life were engulfed by an ever more industrialised North the Ulster Folk Museum was born from a 1958 act of parliament. It continues to create a lively world of artefacts to preserve disappearing traditions for future generations. Visitors can experience the buildings, tools and crafts of the past from the weaver’s loom to the blacksmiths forge. The spade and scutch mills in this film originally operated in County Tyrone before moving to Cultra. The museum also boasts some unusual relics including the ‘World’s Largest Sausage’ over 5 metres long, created by Seamus McTavish.


Filmed by Ulster Television, this material is Courtesy of the UTV Archive.



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