Graig-na-managh has had a connection with wool textile manufacturing
In 1204 Cistercian monks, having discovered the pure water quality of the River Duiske, built a monastery and mills in Graig-na-managh. Their monastery prospered through the export of wool, to become their largest Irish foundation – Duiske Abbey. In time, the small town of Gráig na Manach ~ “the monks’ village”, grew up around the abbey and its mills.
The mid 1600's saw the arrival of immigrant weavers in the area, bringing with them the Flemish tradition of woollen fabric production.
Two hundred years later, in 1800's, one of their descendants, Patrick Cushen, advertised himself as a “woollen manufacturer”, producing from a mill in the town. Through industry and good fortune his son, Philip, and family were able to purchase one of the original abbey mills in 1925 and gain access to an improved water supply for washing and dyeing processes.
Today Cushendale Woollen Mills prides itself on continuing to be a family-run business, keeping the tradition alive under the direction of Philip & Mary Cushen. With the help of a unique and experienced staff, Jim, Bernie, Shelia, Kathleen and Beata, woollen production continues to form part of life in Graignamanagh over 800 years since it first commenced.