The Walkmill Falls is the location where the first mill was established in 1606 when Randal MacDonnell gave the lease of land and mill to Mathew Logan. Over the years following several mills would develop along the river Bush, maximising the head of water as it drops several metres between the falls at the Walkmill and the lower reaches of the village village. These mills collectively led to the village being called Bushmills, the original name for the settlement was Portcaman.
The Walkmill Falls were very significant in the development of the world's first public hydro electric tramway, it was here that Anthony and William Traill built their hydro power station, installed water turbines and generated electricity to power the tram between Portrush and Bushmills and later to the Giants Causeway. The building where the power was generated is still standing above the river but the turbines and machinery have long gone.
This part of the river is referred to as the Leap Stretch and is well used by angler's. Many years ago a walk extended from the village to the Walkmill Falls with a footbridge crossing the river below Heronshaw. Although remnants of this path including old seats, footbridges, steps and access paths are still there, most of it has fallen into disrepair.
The local community have plans within their 2020 vision for the village, to try and re-establish this once beautiful walk from the village to the Walkmill Falls but until that can be achieved access is restricted as the only access route, a concrete laneway just past the Presbyterian Church on the Coleraine Road is not a public right of way. Access is not permitted unless by permission or I assume, a fishing license for the river. I know this because I received a solicitor's letter regarding information on this page, quote.... "There is so far as we are aware, no general public right of way on the relevant laneway and in that case you are, in effect, encouraging members of the public to trespass on our client's land. In the circumstances we would be obliged if you would remove the relevant reference from your website"
Obviously, I have removed the relevant reference and would, of course, not encourage anyone to trespass on private land without having permission. I was not aware of this as there were no visible signs to inform me of the fact.