The Bleach Linen Industry
The present Valley Rovers G.A.A. Ground is called “The Bleach”.The origin of this name goes back to the 1700’s when Thomas Adderley – “Thomas The Industrialist”- came to Innishannon.
In 1748 he established a linen trade here.Innishannon was ideal for linen making as the Bandon River provided hard water, which was good for bleaching the flax.The sorrounding lands were also very good for growing flax.To assist in the establishment of the industry Adderley brought a number of protestant families from Northern Ireland. To each family he leased a house and three acres of land.The Orrs were the principal persons in the trade and they managed the mills on the Bleach Green.The bleach Field , of fourteen acres, was sorrounded by a stone wall. In the bleach mill there were the stores for holding cloth and yarn, the drying lofts, and the machines for whitening the linen and dressing of the flax.The harvested flax was brought to the bleach.The water flowed in channels through the Bleach field.The water was also used to supply power to the tucking mill,which stood in the north-east corner of the field,near the village.The flax was scutched, washed in these channels and left to dry (bleach) on the banks.The industry gave large employment to spinners and weavers.The hand loom was used in many houses in the village down to 1835.