This spinning wheel was purchased in Dunmore by Edward McDonnell of Currisloustia, Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon for his wife Margaret in 1871. It was used by Margaret and passed on to her son Michael and his wife Honoria, who used it to spin wool as late as 1935. Their son William and his wife Annie gave the spinning wheel on loan to Riverstown Museum in 1994.
This spinning wheel is typical of the type used in the period in West Roscommon and North Galway. Spinning the wool was usually carried out with the help of one or more women from the village, as help was needed in “carding the wool”.
Once spun, the wool was then used to knit socks, cardigans and jumpers for the family. This reflects the self-sufficient nature of the people at the time.
Our master craftsman Danny has done a magnificent job in transforming this 19th Century spinning wheel into a fully functional piece again. We cannot believe how good the stand-up spinning wheel now looks.