Foxford Woollen Mills is nestled alongside the majestic flow of the mighty River Moy and the magnificent peaks of the Ox and Nephin Mountains. It is an experience like no other.
A historical walk down Providence road will bring you to the first sight of a building that has been in existence and providing for the locals of this Mayo town for the past 127 years. The Foxford Woollen Mills. The story of Foxford weaves a tale almost 130 years in the making. It has been created and developed by visionaries and entrepreneurs.
A woman by the name of Agnes Morrogh-Bernard turned her back on her life of privilege and finishing schools and joined the Sisters of Charity. At the age of 50 she came to the place that would be forever changed by her presence, Foxford Co. Mayo. She saw the mighty River Moy running through the poverty-stricken village and had an ingenious idea, to build a woollen mill powered by its waters.
The business flourished, and even a savage fire in 1907 wasn’t enough to throw the business off course. 220 people were employed over the first 90 years in the mill creating rugs and woven cloth.
The fabric for every Garda uniform in the state rolled off the looms here at the Foxford Mill.
The mill has been the heartbeat of the town of Foxford. A lifeline for families through emigration. There was even a buzzer on the top of the Mill's clock that woke the whole town up Monday to Friday, it marked the start and end of the day, even the farmers ran on “mill time!”
As years went on, the new demand for synthetic bedding, such as the duvet, had disastrous effect on the woollen mills.
In 1987, the gates were closed and receivers were unfortunately brought in.
The next chapter begins with one of the receivers that came into the company, a young accountant and local man named Joe Queenan.
Unemployment in Ireland stood at 18% at the time, but the mill was still massively important as an employer.
Joe along with the help of others, shared Mother Agnes vision and kept the mill alive.
Renowned Irish designer Helen McAlinden joined forces with Foxford and drew and still does draw inspiration from the colours of the rugged West of Ireland landscape.
Many famous faces have shared in the history of Foxford, Michael Collins, Mary Robinson our former first female Uachtarán na hÉireann (president of Ireland), James Joyce applied to be a Foxford agent... he didn’t get the job, but Foxford gets a mention in Ulysses!
Nowadays this mill that was a much-needed lifeline to so many locally has become more than just manufacturing. It is now a lifestyle brand, the Foxford Shopping, tours and café experience. Our historical element still weaves through our daily activities with interactive tours, a walk through the weaving shed and the building itself is a touchable museum.
Our daily interactive tours bring visitors to the heart of the mill’s activities and allows them to touch, hear and smell the history and craftsmanship of Foxford.
Our experience now stretches far past the once static museum and shop. The moment you walk into our exclusive stores, you are wrapped in the pure luxury of cashmere; you can stroll through our furniture showrooms which houses some of the most contemporary Scandinavian designed pieces this side of the North Sea! Bedroom displays our world class bedlinen, styled so beautifully you could almost climb in! Foxford offers a shopping experience not yet rivalled anywhere.
Stroll seamlessly from our store through to our Café and allow yourself time to relax in our little artisan corner of the world. Housed in what was the original pattern and yarn rooms, our newly refurbished Café allows you to take a seat back to the late 19th century while you enjoy seasonal local produce handpicked by our chef. While you sip your barista poured flat white, you can stroll around and find old pattern books, the mill manager’s old filing cabinet from 1900 with original labels still adorned, pick up an old colouring book from our library or enjoy the sun beaming in to our garden seating area.
What makes this Foxford experience extra special is our digital offerings. We take all the history, all the passion, all the craftsmanship and offer it to you, our friends, 24 hours a day on our website. Here you can pick up some of our most timeless pieces for your home, purchase that special gift or build your wedding registry.
All of this along with Foxford’s world renowned customer service and attention to detail.