National Mills Weekend - Past Years' Events


Please note, the info on this page is retained for historical interest. It relates to previous years' events. Please see details of this year's event.

UK National Mills Weekend 13th - 14th May 2006

During National Mills Weekend, a large number of the UK's remaining windmills and watermills are open to the public. This is coordinated by the
SPAB Mills Section, with lots of local help! Individual mills may be open on either of the days of the weekend, or indeed on both, as circumstances allow.

There is more info available on the SPAB Mills Section events page.

SPAB Press Release

National Mills Weekend 2006 (May 13/14) celebrates the 75th anniversary of SPAB's Mills Section.

More than 80 Mills In UK Are Taking Part.

Wind and water are sustainable power sources, used for hundreds of years in Britain in the production of natural food. 2006 sees the 75th anniversary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Mills Section and what better way to mark this landmark year in the battle to save some of the nation's most loved and evocative buildings than to celebrate their practicality along with their beauty?

SPAB's founder William Morris held that you should have nothing in your home that you do not know to be both beautiful and useful - a maxim that could easily apply to Britain's wind and watermills. There are currently more than 100 working mills capable of producing natural, stone ground flour and 100 of these will be open to the public during SPAB's 75th Anniversary National Mills Weekend - May 13th/14th 2006. In addition, over the weekend, a further 300 mills throughout the country will be welcoming visitors.

SPAB's Windmill Committee was formed in 1931 in response to an alarming decline in the numbers of the country's windmills. Later it included watermills within its interests, and it "encouraged the art of country milling". Still active today the SPAB is the only national amenity society dedicated to the protection of our milling heritage.

Some working mills are more than 300 years old yet still efficiently doing the job in the 21st century that they were built and designed for. Simon Hudson, SPAB?s Mills Section Secretary says:

What could be better or more sustainable than natural food made using a 100% environmentally friendly power source?

Many of the mills open in May are run by members of the Traditional Corn Millers Guild. The Guild was set up in 1987 to promote stone ground, wholemeal, oatmeal and other special flours to a wider public and continue the tradition of milling with stones.

A new publication: Stone Ground Flour - Where Can I Find It? gives information about where these products can be found. Listing mills from Cumbria to Kent and from Cornwall to Scotland, this publication is launched for National Mills Weekend 2006 and is available from the SPAB Mills Section and from participating mills.

Further details of National Mills Weekend are available from Simon Hudson, Mills Section Secretary, SPAB Mills Section, 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY (0207 456 0909). e-mail millsinfo@spab.org.uk or visit to the website.

Details of other mills opening

Further details as I receive them will appear on this page.

Mills which will have stone ground flour available

AngleseyLlynon WindmillLlanddeusant
BuckinghamshireFord End WatermillIvinghoe
BuckinghamshirePann MillHigh Wycombe
CambridgeshireFoster's WindmillSwaffham Prior
CambridgeshireHoughton Watermill
CambridgeshireLode WatermillAnglesea Abbey
CambridgeshireOver Windmill
CambridgeshireWicken Corn Windmill
CheshireBunbury
ClevelandTocketts WatermillGuisborough
CornwallCotehele WatermillSt Dominick
CumbriaLittle Salkeld Watermill
DerbyshireCaudwell's WatermillRowsley
DerbyshireHeage Windmill
DerbyshireStainsby Watermill
DevonOtterton Watermill
DorsetCann MillsShaftesbury
DorsetTown MillLyme Regis
Dumfries & GallowayNew Abbey Corn Watermill
East SussexMichelham Priory WatermillUpper Dicker
East SussexPark WatermillBatemans, Burwash
East SussexStone Cross Windmill
East YorkshireBeswick Watermill
East YorkshireSkidby Windmill
EssexJohn Webb's WindmillThaxted
HampshireAlderholt Millnr Fordingbridge
HampshireBursledon Windmill
HampshireEling Tide MillTotton
HampshireHeadley WatermillBordon
HampshireLongbridge WatermillSherfield on Loddon
HertfordshireMill Green WatermillHatfield
HertfordshireRedbournbury Watermill
Isle of WightCalbourne Watermill
JerseyLe Moulin de QuetivelSt Peter's Valley
KentCrabble WatermillDover
KentCranbrook Windmill
KentSarre Windmill
KentSwanton WatermillLower Mersham
LeicestershireClaybrook Watermill
LincolnshireAlford Windmill
LincolnshireCogglesford WatermillSleaford
LincolnshireEllis's WindmillLincoln
LincolnshireHeckington Windmill
LincolnshireMaud Foster WindmillBoston
LincolnshireMount Pleasant WindmillKirton in Lindsey
LincolnshireTrader WindmillSibsey
LincolnshireWaltham Windmill
NorfolkDenver Windmill
NorfolkGarboldisham Windmill
NorfolkLetheringsett Watermill
NorthumbriaHeatherslaw Watermill
NottinghamshireGreen's WindmillSneinton, Nottingham
NottinghamshireNorth Leverton Windmill
OrkneyBarony (Boardhouse) MillsBirsay
OxfordshireMapledurham Watermill
OxfordshireVenn WatermillGarford
PembrokeshireY Felin, St Dogmaels
PerthshireBlair Atholl Watermill
PowysBacheldre WatermillChurchstoke, Montgomery
RutlandWhissendine Windmill
ShropshireDaniel's WatermillBridgnorth
SomersetBurcott Watermill
SomersetDunster Watermill
South YorkshireWorsborough Watermill Museum
SuffolkPakenham Watermill
SuffolkStanton Windmill
SurreyCobham Watermill
SurreyOutwood Windmill
WarwickshireCharlecote WatermillHampton Lucy
WarwickshireWellesbourne Watermill
West SussexHigh Salvington Windmill
West SussexJill WindmillClayton
West SussexLurgashall WatermillWeald & Downland Open-air Museum, Singleton
West SussexShipley Windmill
WiltshireFord Watermillnear Salisbury
WiltshireWilton Windmill

UK National Mills Weekend 7th - 8th May 2005

During National Mills Weekend, a large number of the UK's remaining windmills and watermills are open to the public. This is coordinated by the
SPAB Mills Section, with lots of local help! Individual mills may be open on either of the days of the weekend, or indeed on both, as circumstances allow.

There is more info available on the SPAB Mills Section events page.

SPAB Press Release

The Mills are Alive...

National Mills Weekend, 7th/8th May celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2005, with opportunities across the country for visitors and enthusiasts to appreciate the very best examples of Britain's milling heritage, and the loftiest!

The event is organised each year by the Mills Section of SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings).

Involving more than 400 windmills and watermills nationwide, the 2005 weekend will include the giant of the mills world (the tallest in the country) opening to the public for the first time after an ambitious repair programme. This is the tower mill at Moulton in Lincolnshire, which featured in the first BBC series of Restoration.

More than 100 mills which are capable of producing flour, will be in action (wind permitting) dispelling the myths that wind power is either confined to the pages of history or is a new intrusion into the landscape! Some of the buildings taking part in the event are only open at this time, enabling National Mills Weekend to offer members of the public a unique insight into some of the country's best loved and most distinctive landmark structures.

A recent survey revealed that, after houses, windmills are the most popular subjects for children's drawings of buildings. Harnessing this enthusiasm and high recognition factor, this year National Mills Weekend is piloting a schools' project linking primary schools and their local mill.

Simon Hudson, SPAB Mills section, says: "From Blair Atholl in Scotland to St. Dominick in Cornwall, the mills are most definitely alive and this weekend will give everyone the opportunity to find out more. And, with the rising interest in organic foods and traditional production techniques there has never been a more appropriate or significant time for people to head for the mills!"

Details of other mills opening

Further details as I receive them will appear on this page.

Mills which have notified SPAB that they will be opening

BedfordshireThe Olde Mill Barton le Clayhttp://www.oldewatermill.co.uk
BuckinghamshireFord End Watermill Ivinghoehttp://www.fordendwatermill.co.uk
BuckinghamshireLacey Green Windmillhttp://www.chilternsociety.org.uk/
BuckinghamshireQuainton Windmill
CambridgeshireBourn Post Millhttp://www.cps.wandlebury.org
CambridgeshireFulbourn Windmill
CambridgeshireHinxton Watermillhttp://www.cps.wandlebury.org
CambridgeshireHoughton Watermillhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/houghtonmill
CambridgeshireImpington Windmill
CambridgeshireSacrewell Watermillhttp://www.sacrewell.org.uk
CambridgeshireWicken Windmillhttp://www.geocities.com/wickenmill
CheshireQuarry Bank Mill Styal
ClevelandTocketts Mill Guisborough
CumbriaAcorn Bank Millhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
CumbriaFarfield Mill Sedberghhttp://www.farfieldmill.org.uk
CumbriaHeron Corn Millhttp://www.heronmill.org
CumbriaLittle Salkeld Watermillhttp://www.organicmill.co.uk
CumbriaOld Mill Kirby in Furness
DerbyshireCaudwells Mill Rowsley
DerbyshireCromford Millhttp://www.arkwrightsociety.org.uk
DerbyshireHeage Windmillhttp://www.heagewindmill.co.uk
DerbyshireStainsby Millhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
DevonColdharbour Mill Uffculmehttp://www.coldharbourmill.org.uk
DevonKelly Minehttp://www.kellymine.freeserve.co.uk
DevonOtterton Mill Budleigh Saltertonhttp://www.ottertonmill.co.uk
DevonTotnes Town Millhttp://www.totnesinformation.co.uk
DorsetBoar Mill Corfe Castle
DorsetCastleton Waterwheel Sherbornehttp://www.castletonwaterwheel.org.uk
DorsetPlace Mill Christchurchhttp://www.visitchristchurch.info
DorsetSturminster Newton Watermillhttp://www.sturminster-site.net/history.htm
DorsetTown Mill Lyme Regishttp://www.townmill.org.uk
EssexAbbey Mill Coggeshall
EssexAshdon Windmillhttp://www.ashdownwindmill.co.uk
EssexBocking Windmillhttp://beehive.thisisessex.co.uk
EssexFyfield Watermill
EssexStanstead Mountfitchett Windmill
EssexThaxted Windmill
GloucestershireDunkirk Mill Centre Nailsworthhttp://www.stroud-textile.co.uk
HampshireWinchester City Millhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
HertfordshireCromer Windmill
HertfordshireRedbournbury Watermillhttp://www.redbournmill.co.uk
Isle of ManKentraugh Watermill Colby
Isle of WightBembridge Windmillhttp://www.nationaltrust.co.uk
KentChart Gunpowder Mills Faversham
KentDrapers Mill Margate
KentHerne Windmillhttp://www.kentwindmills.co.uk
KentStelling Minnis Windmill
KentSarre Windmill
KentUnion Mill Cranbrook
KentWillesborough Windmillhttp://www.willesboroughwindmill.co.uk
LeicestershireKibworth Harcourt Windmill
LeicestershireWhissendine Windmill
LeicestershireWymondham Windmillhttp://www.wymondhamwindmill.co.uk
LincolnshireCogglesford Watermill
LincolnshireEllis Mill Lincoln
LincolnshireFive Sailed Windmill Alford
LincolnshireMoulton Windmill
LincolnshireMount Pleasant Windmill Kirton in Lindseyhttp://www.mountpleasantwindmill.co.uk
LincolnshireStockwith Watermill Hagworthingham
LincolnshireTrader Mill Sibseyhttp://www.sibsey.fsnet.co.uk/Trader_Windmill_Sibsey.htm
NorfolkCley Millhttp://www.cleymill.co.uk
NorfolkDenver Windmillhttp://www.denvermill.co.uk
NorfolkGreat Bircham Windmillhttp://www.birchamwindmill.co.uk
NorfolkHardley Windpump
NorfolkSt. Benets Level Windpumphttp://www.ludhamhall.co.uk
NorfolkStow Mill Pastonhttp://www.stowmill.co.uk
OxfordshireColeshill Watermillhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
OxfordshireMapledurham Watermill
SalopDaniels Mill Bridgenorth
SomersetBishop Lydyeard Millhttp://www.bishoplydyeard.co.uk
SomersetClaverton Pumping Stationhttp://www.claverton.org
SomersetDunster Watermill
SomersetPiles Mill Allerford
StaffordshireBrindley Mill Leekhttp://www.brindleymill.net
SuffolkAlton Watermill Museum of East Angliahttp://www.eastanglianlife.org.uk
SuffolkEastbridge Windpump Museum of East Angliahttp://www.eastanglianlife.org.uk
SuffolkPakenham Watermill
SuffolkSaxtead Green Postmillhttp://www.english-heritage.org.uk
SuffolkStanton Post Millhttp://www.stantonwindmillmembers.beeb.net
SurreyOutwood Windmillhttp://www.outwoodwindmill.co.uk/
SurreyPainshill Park Waterwheelhttp://www.painshill.co.uk
SussexChailey Windmill
SussexHalnaker Windmill
SussexHigh Salvington Windmillhttp://www.highsalvingtonwindmill.co.uk
SussexIfield Watermillhttp://www.semuseums.org.uk/crawleymuseum
SussexJill Windmill Claytonhttp://www.sussexmillsgroup.org.uk
SussexNutley Windmillhttp://www.udps.co.uk
SussexPark Mill Batemans Burwashhttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
SussexRottingdean Windmill
SussexShipley Windmill
SussexStone Cross Windmillhttp://www.sussexmillsgroup.org.uk
SussexWeald and Downland Museum Singletonhttp://www.wealddown.co.uk
SussexWest Blatchington Windmillhttp://www.sussexmillsgroup.org.uk
Tyne and WearFulwell Windmill Sunderlandhttp://www.fulwell-windmill.co.uk
Tyne and WearPath Head Watermill Blaydonhttp://www.gatesheadmill.co.uk
West MidlandsNew Hall Watermill Sutton Coldfieldhttp://www.newhallmill.org.uk
WiltshireFord Mill Salisbury
WiltshireWilton Windmillhttp://www.wiltonwindmill.co.uk
YorkshireElvington Brickyard Windpumphttp://www.elvingtoncaravanparkandfishinglake.com
YorkshireFountains Mill Fountains Abbeyhttp://www.fountainsabbey.org.uk
YorkshireHolgate Windmill Yorkhttp://www.holgatewindmill.org
YorkshireRaindale Mill Yorkhttp://www.yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk
YorkshireSkidby Windmillhttp://www.eastriding.gov.uk/culture/heritage
WalesTreffiw Woolen Mills Connwyhttp://www.t-w-m-co.uk
ScotlandBlair Atholl Watermillhttp://www.blairathollwatermill.co.uk

UK National Mills Weekend 8th - 9th May 2004

During National Mills Weekend, a large number of the UK's remaining wind and watermills are open to the public. This is coordinated by the
SPAB Mills Section, with lots of local help! Individual mills may be open on either of the days of the weekend, or indeed on both, as circumstances allow.

There is more info available on the SPAB Mills Section events page.

SPAB Press Release

National Mills Weekend 8th - 9th May 2004

For immediate release - 16 March 2004

For the last 20 years the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has organised National Mills Weekend, a two day celebration of Britain's milling heritage. Over this weekend, about 500 mills in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will open their doors to visitors.

Mills were involved with a number of different industries in addition to flour production. They also pumped water, produced paper, gunpowder etc. "Mills Open" (see below) is the definitive guide to the Mills of the British Isles and is packed with information about opening times, details of location, and what visitors can discover. Some Mills work as commercial businesses, while others are run by enthusiastic volunteers. Fifty years ago, the Wind and Watermills of this country were thought to be in terminal decline, but now there has been a renaissance in these wonderful reminders of our past.

There are nearly 100 working wind or watermills in the UK. These are described in our recent publication Mills Open. This is our 7th edition and is available from the Mills Section Office at 37 Spital Square London E1 6DY for £5 (including postage and packing)

Among the mills that will be open over National Mills Weekend 2004 are:

  • Union Windmill Cranbrook Kent, this 70ft. smock mill is 190 years old and has recently undergone a two year major refurbishment returning the mill to look as it did when running commercially.
  • Wicken Windmills Cambridgeshire, where (wind permitting) a unique sight for the 21st Century may be observed; both mills in the village will be at work one grinding corn and the other pumping water.
  • The Lady Isabella Waterwheel on the Isle of Man is celebrating her 150th birthday this year. At 72 ft this is the largest working waterwheel in the country. A masterpiece of Victorian engineering.
  • City Mill Winchester This working watermill will hold milling demonstrations and will be grinding again after a gap of 90 years.
  • Thwaite Mills in Leeds demonstrates that milling is not just part of our rural past. These mills are still powered by their gigantic waterwheels. In addition to the Mill, there is also the Mill manager's house and the new nature reserve on the canal banks to explore.
  • Drinkstone Windmills in Suffolk is probably the most important Mill restoration project ever undertaken. In addition to the rarity of having two mills on the same site, the older of the mills has after recent scientific analysis of its timbers been declared the oldest post mill in the country.
Other important mills that will be operating over the weekend are Mapledurham Watermill Oxon, Mill Green Watermill Hatfield Herts, and Maud Foster Windmill Boston Lincs.

For further information about any aspect of National Mills Weekend, contact Simon Hudson on 020 7456 0909 or e-mail millsinfo@spab.org.uk

Details of other mills opening


UK National Mills Weekend 10th - 11th May 2003

See also
news reports of the weekend.

Mills which will be open

The restored watermill at Bishop's Lydeard, near Taunton, Somerset, will open to the public on 10 May with all proceeds going to charity. Retired builder Charlie Back has been restoring the listed watermill since 1990. It dates from c1790 and retains an overshot waterwheel cast by Bishop Bros of Wellington. [Prompted by an article in the Western Daily Press by Susie Weldon, 26-03-03]

Further information on mills which will be open includes:

UK National Mills Weekend 2002

No specific coverage.

UK National Mills Weekend 12th - 13th May 2001

NB. Foot and Mouth - in common with many other activities, some mills are NOT able to open due to Foot and Mouth considerations. Please check back to this page, and the pages it links to, to check the latest news.


SPAB Mill Section Press release

More mills than ever will be open for National Mills Weekend

Several newly-renovated wind and watermills will be amongst the estimated 350 mills open to the public this year on National Mills Weekend.

The weekend, which has been organised for the past 10 years by the Mills Section of the Society for the protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) takes place on 12/13 May 2001.

Among the mills the public will be able to see in action for the first time are the Grade 2* five storey Victorian windmill at Stone Cross near Eastbourne, Sussex, which has just been renovated at a cost of £230,000 and is in full working order.

Another mill open for the first time is the water-operated sawmill at Pontdolgoch, Powys. The 100 year old mill, has recently been restored by the owners, brothers Richard and Emyr Owen. The brothers work in restoring the mill to full working order at their own expense was recognised last year by the award of a plaque - the means by which the Mills Section acknowledges exceptional effort.

The weekend will also provide a rare opportunity for members of the public to see round Fulbourn Windmill in Cambridgeshire which is only open on a few days a year. The 200 year old smock mill is undergoing comprehensive renovation and they will be able to see members of the working party in action.

Several town mills will also be open for the weekend. They include the newly-organic early 19th century Greens Mill which is in the Nottingham suburb of Sneinton, only a mile from the centre of the city, and in Lincolnshire the the enormous early 19 century Maud Foster Mill in the centre of Boston. Two other town mills in full production that will be open are the Union Windmill in Cranbrook, Kent, England's tallest smock mill, and, in Scotland, Lower City watermill in the centre of Perth.

The chairman of the Mills Section is Mildred Cookson, who 20 years ago gave up her job in the Civil Service to run the only working watermill on the River Thames at Mapledurham, near Reading.

She says "Whether they are wind or watermills these old buildings have a rare quality. In the past they were responsible for providing us with our daily bread and played an important part in everyone's lives. In 1900 there were 10,000 wind and watermills, operating. Twenty years later the number was below 2,000.

"Once a year on this weekend the mills fraternity likes to try and transfer some of its enthusiasm to the public at large. Being a miller is like being at the helm of a giant sailing vessel. You are just one person harnessing tremendous power - and its free!

"With greatly renewed interest in naturally-produced foods and all things organic and ecological, plus the arrival of the National Heritage Lottery Fund, wind and watermills have been enjoying good times.

"For the past 50 years one of the main objects of the Section has been to try and stop these buildings from being converted into houses. We are glad to say this has been successful as instanced by the number of workable mills today - about 400. Some 350 of these will be open this weekend - the largest number yet."

Details

As in past years
Mills on the Air will be running Amateur Radio Stations at a number of mills.

Check back here for further details as they become available.

And look out for posters like the following... Mills Weekend Poster 2001


UK National Mills Weekend 13th - 14th May 2000

Last year's event had an "International Mills Weekend" theme, with mills encouraged to twin with foreign mills - there were displays of photographs and guide books from the foreign mills.

Look for the following poster advertising mills open in your local area:

Mills Weekend Poster 2000

If you fail to find time to visit mills during this weekend, you may care to note that many mills are open on other weekends throughout the year - full details can be found in the SPAB publication Mills Open

Not that they offer particularly good ecards, but Greetsomeone.com have put together a selection for "National Windmill Day!"


UK National Mills Weekend 8th - 9th May 1999

Mills Weekend Poster 1999 The event this year was far bigger than previous years - it expanded from being just one day to encompass the whole weekend of 8th and 9th May 1999. This year's theme was "Arts and Crafts".

Some details on-line:

National Mills Weekend is coordinated by the SPAB Mills Section.

Specific mill opening details

I apologise for the uneven coverage of UK mills in these details - there were many more mills open but I did not get the details in time to display here.

Cattell's Mill, Mill Road, Willingham, Cambridge

Open 11.00am - 4.00pm, Saturday and Sunday May 8th and 9th.
Tea and coffee available from the Tea Room. Exhibition at the Visitor Centre.
See the restoration in progress, plus Mill to Mill Amateur Radio link Up.
Ample Parking - see map

Wellesbourne, Watermill, Warwickshire

On National Mills' Day, Sunday May 9th, Wellesbourne Mill celebrates the ten year anniversary of its restoration to full working order. An ancient mill site mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086, it was re-built in 1834, but fell into disuse in 1939. It received a conservation award from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1989.

Stonegrouud flour will be milled by machincry driven by a large waterwheel and bran and semolina will also be produced. Visitors will see a blacksmith sorting out the mill's "chattering damsel" and loaves of bread will be baked in a wood-fired breadoven.

At one time there were several thousand water and wind powered mills in the country: now sadly a more handful. Enjoy this one for the day in its tranquil and secluded setting and find out more about "chattering damsels", semolina and traditional corn milling.

The mill is located on the B4086 and admission will be £3.00 for adults. £2.50 for Senior Citizens and students and £2.00 for children.

(For further information, ring 01789 470237)

Kent Windmills

On National Mills Weekend Chillenden & Sandwich White Mill will be open on Sunday 9th May, Chillenden mill from 14.00h -16.30h, Sandwich mill from 10.00h - 17.30h. Sandwich is holding a Craft Fair, its Annual Baking Competition & will have Craft demonstrations and working agricultural models.
Chillenden windmill : In fields north of Chillenden village, 4km SW of Sandwich.
Map Ref : TR268543
Phone : 01304 812320
Descrition : Built in 1868 this is one of the last 'open-trestle' post
windmills to be built in Britain.
Open : Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays 14.00h - 16.30h May to August.

Sandwich White Mill :On the A257 west of Sandwich
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Map Ref :TR323587
Phone : 01304 612076 or 0966 177587
E-mail : sandwich_mill@hotmail.com
Web : http://www.kent-museums.org.uk/whitemil/home.html
Description : A smock corn mill built circa 1760. Retains its original
wooden machinery, outbuildings and miller's cottage. Museum of Domestic,
Craft & Farming Items. Displays of photos of Victorian life in the area. Car
Park : Gift Shop : Toilets
Open : Easter to 12th September : Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays : 14.30h -
17.30h
January to end of November : Fridays & Sundays : 10.00h - 12.00h.

Windmills and Watermills open in Oxfordshire

ARDINGTON MILL NGR:SU428881
About 2 miles E of Wantage and half mile S of the A417. On the Ginge Brook, a tributary of the Thames, at Home Farm. Part of the Lockinge Estate, the mill is older than it looks. It has lost its water supply and, although it does not turn, its corn-grinding machinery and interesting overshot waterwheel have been restored.
Saturday & Sunday, 2pm-5pm. Admission free.

ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. ASCOTT MILL NGR:SP309195
Half a mile NE of the village of Ascott under Wychwood, about 4 miles W of Charlbury. By the river Evenlode, a converted mill that has lost its water supply. The fine disused wooden clasp-armed waterwheel and wooden machinery on the ground floor are accessible.
Sunday, 11am-5pm. Admission free.

CHALGROVE MILL NGR: SU63 1970
At W end of Chalgrove village, just off the B480, 2 miles E of Stadhampton. An old mill that was extended later, it was restored to working condition in 1998. This included turning the overshot waterwheel around to become a high-breast one. The mill will be grinding corn powered by the waterwheel.
Saturday, 11am-4pm. Admission £1, children 50p.

CHARNEY BASSETT. CHARNEV MILL NGR:SU381945
In the village of Charney Bassett, opposite the church, this corn mill was driven by the River Ock, although the water is now diverted. It was built about 1800 and is gradually being restored by the Vale of White Horse Industrial Archaeology Group. The iron machinery is complete and a secondhand waterwheel is being installed.
Sunday, 2pm-5pm. Donations welcome.

CHINNOR WINDMILL NGR: SP750010
On W side of Chinnor village, 4.5 miles SE of Thame. A 1789 post mill being rebuilt by the Chinnor Windmill Restoration Society. The main post has now been erected and the frame of the buck is on the ground, with some machinery on-site.
Sunday, 10am-4pm. (Site accessible on Saturday also) Donations welcome.

CLANFIELD. LITTLE CLANFIELD MILL NGR:SP271014
About a mile W of Clanfield village, near Brampton. A corn mill that was rebuilt about 120 years ago on an older site beside a small tributary of the River Thames. All machinery was removed except for the outside iron waterwheel, but this has been repaired and will be turning.
Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm. Admission free. Cream teas available.

GARFORD. VENN MILL NGR:SU430949
On the A338 Oxford to Wantage road, one mile N of the village of East Hanney. A corn mill of about 1800 built on an ancient site beside the Childrey Brook, a tributary of the River Ock. An undershot waterwheel drives millstones by mainly wooden machinery. The mill will be working, grinding locally-grown wheat. Wholemeal flour on sale.
Sunday, 10am-5pm. Admission £1, children 50p.

MAPLEDURHAM MILL NGR: SU669767
Opposite the church in Mapledurham village, approximately 4 miles NW of Reading. This ancient watermill is the last to work on the River Thames and contains wooden machinery. The millstones are driven by a wooden undershot waterwheel. The mill will be grinding corn, with flour and bread on sale.
Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm. Admission £2.50, children £1.50.

STADHAMPTON MILL NGR: SU604984
In Stadhampton village, a watermill in a lovely garden setting on a tributary of the River Thame. Although no longer in use, it retains its wooden machinery. The small overshot waterwheel will be turning.
Saturday, 2-6pm. Contributions to Stadhampton church restoration.

STANDLAKE. CHIJRCH MILL NGR:SP396038
Off Downs Road at Standlake, nearly opposite the church. The last mill on the River Windrush in working order. The undershot waterwheel has been repaired and powers the millstones. There was once a second waterwheel here. The mill will be working, with wholemeal flour and bread on sale. Morris dancers and other attractions.
Sunday, lOam-5pm. Admission £2, pensioners £1.50, children £1.

WANTAGE, HAM MILL NGR:SU391875
Off the B4507, on SW side of the town. A converted mill in an attractive garden with ponds fed by the Letcombe Brook. The mill has lost its machinery but a large iron waterwheel will be turning. There is also the frame of a second waterwheel.
Sunday, 12-5pm. Admission £1.

WHEATLEY WINDMILL NGR: SP589053
On the hill above Wheatley, just off the A40, 5 miles E of Oxford. An 18th century tower mill being restored by the Wheatley Windmill Society. The wooden machinery is still in place but much work still remains to be done on this important mill.
Sunday, 10am-5pm. Donations welcome.

North West of England

The following mills in Lancashire, Cheshire & Greater Manchester plan to open on National Mills Weekend. Visitors are advised to telephone and confirm opening times before travelling long distances in case of last minute changes. There will be a charge for admission unless indicated.
NWMG Area contacts:
Lancashire:     Stanley Brown. Tel: 01253 735247
Cheshire:       Stephen Penney. Tel: 01606 41331

NWMG general contact:
Stuart Mousdale, Chairman. Tel: 01928 726014

LANCASHIRE

HELMSHORE TEXTILE MUSEUMS
Holcombe Road, Helmshore, Rossendale Working waterwheel which naturally drives stocks fulling woollen cloth. Dramatic 714 spindle cotton mules spin miles of yarn a minute and are shown in action. Leave M65 Junction 5 and follow A6177 (Haslingden). NGR: SD 778 214 Contact: Ian Gibson, Tel: 01706 226459
Sat CLOSED Sun l2noon-5pm

LYTHAM WINDMILL
The Green, East Beach, Lytham. Fascinating exhibition of local history with ever-changing topics provided and staffed by volunteers of Lytham Heritage Group. Sails replaced after recent storm damage. Free admission. Follow signs for the coast road, A583/A584 from Preston to Lytham. NGR: SD 371 270 Contact: Vivien Wood, Tel: 01253 724141 ext. 3710
Sat 10.30am - 1pm & 2pm - 4.30pm Sun 10.30am - 1pm & 2pm - 4.30pm

MARSH MILL-IN-WYRE
Marsh Mill Craft Village, Thornton Cleveleys Restored late-i 8th century windmill, amongst the tallest in the Fylde, guided tours. Planned attractions include exhibition and activities in the mill, and in the Square, music (Saturday) and magic and brass band (Sunday). From M55 Junction 3 follow the A585 (Fleetwood) for approx 6 miles then follow signs for Marsh Mill. Details of public transport also available. NGR: SD 335 426 Contact: Tel: 01253 88744 (Vicky Tindall, Wyre BC) or 01253 860765 (Mill)
Sat 10.30am-5pm Sun 10.30am-5pm

OSWALDTWISTLE MILLS
Moscow Mill, Collier Street, Oswaldtwistle Textile time tunnel display, covering 300 years of the cotton industry, including a weavers cottage c.1750, set within a modern working weaving shed. Free admission. Craft and coffee shops. From M6 J.29; or M62 Junction 18 via M65 J.7, follow signs to Accrington, first right to Oswaldtwistle. Contact: Joan Evans, Tel: 01254 871025
Sat 11am - 4.30pm Sun llam - 4.30pm

QUEEN STREET MILL
Queen Street, Harle Syke, Burnley Coal-fired Lancashire boiler supplies steam to 500hp tandem compound engine coupled to over 300 Lancashire looms. The mill plans to be in steam and weaving. Leave M65 at J.10 or J.12 (latter has better signposted route). NGR: SD 867 349 Contact: lan Gibson, Tel: 01282412555
Sat 10.30am - 5pm Sun 1pm - 4pm

GREATER MANCHESTER

DUNHAM MASSEY MILL
Dunham Massey Hall, Altrincham 17th century corn watermill, refitted in 19th century as estate sawmill, now restored and preserved. In the grounds of Dunham Massey Hall, with gardens and deer park (National Trust). 3 miles SW of Altrincham off the A56, from the M6 J.19, from the M56 J.7. NGR: SJ 735 874 Contact: Visitor Services Department, Tel: 0161 941 1025
Sat 12-5pm Sun 12-5pm

CHESHIRE

BUNBURY WATERMILL
Mill Lane, off Bowesgate Road, Bunbury Working 19th century cornmill. Flour milling process demonstrated. Flour for sale. Mill Lane, off Bowesgate Road, Bunbury, near Tarporley. NGR: SJ 573 581 Contact: Dennis Buchanan, Tel: 01829 261422
Sat 2pm - 5pm Sun 2pm - 5pm

NETHER ALDERLEY MILL
Congleton Road, Nether Alderley Corn watermill in 15th century building with tandem overshot wheels, largely Victorian machinery restored to working order (National Trust). E side of A34, 1 1/2 miles S of Alderley Edge NGR: SJ 844 763 Contact: National Trust Styal Estate Office, Tel: 01625 523012
Sat CLOSED Sun 1pm - 4.30pm

QUARRY BANK MILL
Restored Georgian cotton mill, working museum. 1851 Fairbairn 1 OOhp high breastshot working waterwheel. Steam power beam engine. Interactive exhibits and audio visual theatre. Set in Styal Country Park (National Trust). Styal, 1 1/2 in N of Wilmslow off B51 66 NGR: SJ 834 831 Contact: Quarry Bank Mill Trust, Tel: 01625 527468
OPEN 11am-6pm

STRETTON MILL
Mill Lane, Stretton A largely timber-framed watermill, with 18th century sandstone additions. Overshot and breastshot waterwheels. Four sets of stones. Guided tours and interpretive displays. Signposted from the A534 (10 miles south of Chester) NGR: SJ 454 530 Contact: Stephen Penney, Tel: 0160641331
Sat 1pm-5pm Sun 1pm-5pm

CO. DURHAM

KILLHOPE LEAD MINING CENTRE Park Level Mine
Cowshill, Upper Weardale Underground mine, restored lead mine site. Exhibitions, shop and cafe. Bishop Auckland Radio Club doing "Mills on the Air". A689 Stanhope to Aiston Road, 1 1/2 miles from Cowshill towards Alston. NGR: NY 826 424 Contact: Kath Brown I Maureen Murray, Tel: 01388 537505
Sat 10.30am - 5pm Sun 10.30am - 5pm

CUMBRIA

ACORN BANK
Temple Sowerby, near Pen rith Restored watermill (National Trust). Acorn Bank Gardens and shop. Hope to have recently restored waterwheel turning. Mill open free of charge, donations welcome. 6 1/2 miles from Penrith, just off the A66, signposted from Temple Sowerby. NGR: NY 612 281 Contact: Sara Braithwaite, Tel: 01768 361893
Sat l0am - 5pm Sun l0am - 5pm

ALSTON HIGH MILL
Market Place, Alston Free entry to view the waterwheel, which is to be restored. Mill is on left behind shoe shop, down lane adjacent to market cross. NGR: NY 718 466 Contact: Hope Alderson, Tel: 01434382037
Sat l0am-5pm Sun l0am-5pm

BECKSIDE MILL
Beckside, Kirkby-in-Furness Manorial cornmili, now a house. Wheel restored and water supply. House and gardens will be open, and a number of items on display. Donations. At Kirkby crossroads, turn off A545, away from Duddon Estuary. About 1/3 mile turn right to Ulverston, Mill is on that corner. NGR: SD236822 Contact: Charles Rowntree, Tel: 01229 889373
Sat 10am - 6pm Sun l0am - 6pm

BLENNERHASSET MILL
Blennerhasset, near Aspatria Watermill undergoing restoration; organic gardens and renewable energy demonstration project. Access via Baggrow Lonning only on N. side of R. Ellen NGR: NY 184 419 Contact: Andy Curie, Tel: 016973 23523
Sat 11am - 5pm Sun 11am - 5pm

ESKDALE MILL
Boot Village, Eskdale Ancient Lakeland corn mill with two overshot waterwheels, 12' diameter. The mill is run daily for visitors and a guided tour is given. A short walk from Dalegarth Station on the Ravengiass & Eskdale steam railway; or over Wrynose & Hardnott Passes from central Lakeland. NGR: NY 176 012 Contact: Dave King, Tel: 01946723335
Sat 11am-5.30pm Sun 11am-5.30pm

FARFIELD MILL
Garsdale Road, Sedbergh 4 storey textile mill. Water turbine (not working), Dobcross looms, riverside walks. 1 1/2 miles from Sedbergh on left along Garsdale Road, next to Oakdene Guest House. NGR: SD 677 919 Contact: Maureen Lamb, Tel: 015396 20553
Sat l0am-4pm Sun l0am-4pm

GLEASTON WATERMILL
Gleaston, near Ulverston 18th century corn mill in 10 acre site, impressive wheel and machinery. Planned attractions include Archaeology, NFU, NWW and Police displays, amateur radio station, clog dancers & fiddle player, plant stall and various craft stalls. Follow the brown & white signs from A5087 coast road. NGR: SD 260 709 Contact: Vicky Brereton, Tel: 01229 869244, Website www.watermill.co.uk
Sat 11am-5pm Sun 11am-5pm

HERON CORN MILL & Museum ot Paper Making
By Waterhouse Mills, Beetham, Milnthorpe Fully working 18th century corn mill, 14ft breast shot wheel, Lowder type arrangement of stones. Exhibition of 900 years of milling on the site, gallery showing history of bread making. Museum of papermaking shows history of papermaking, ancient and modern, by various methods. 1 mile south of Milnthorpe on the A6, entry at the start of Beetham village signed with brown & white signs. 6 miles north of J35 of M6 to large roundabout, then take A6 north. NGR: SD 496 799 Contact: Administrator, Tel: 015395 65027
Sat 11am - 5pm Sun 11am - 5pm

MUNCASTER WATERMILL
Ravenglass Working watermill, mostly pre-1850 machinery grinding organic wheat, flour for sale. Woodland walks, tea & gift shop, bed & breakfast. Planned attractions include hints on bread making and comparison of bread-making machines; bodger, spinner and potter; and amateur radio station. Off the A59S, 1 mile NE of Ravenglass. Trains of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway stop at the mill station by request. NGR: SD 096 978 Contact: Pam & Ernie Priestley, Tel: 01229 717232
Sat 10am - 5pm Sun 10am - 5pm

STOTT PARK BOBBIN MILL
Low Stott Park, Finsthwaite 19th century bobbin mill preserved as a working museum (English Heritage). Steam engine & water turbine. Last admission 1 hour before closing. Low Stott Park, 1/2 mile from Finsthwaite NGR: SD 373 883 Contact: Barbara Spearman, Tel: 0191 261 1585
Sat 10am - 6pm Sun 10am - 6pm


UK National Mills Day 1998

The 1998 UK National Mills Day was on Sunday, 10th May.

The day was gloriously sunny and warm (at least in the South of England), and this brought people out in large numbers to a number of mills.

Photos from the day

Reports of the day

I have left the pre-day information I had available, to give a further idea of the things that occured.

Press release from the SPAB

SPAB Mills Section, 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY,

Milling Industry in Danger of Grinding to a Halt

On National Mills Day: Sunday 10th May 1998 : the last remaining traditional Wind Mills and Water Mills across the country will be open to the public.

The traditional mills, with their environmentally friendly power sources, are under threat. Under threat from developers wanting to convert them into houses, or offices. Under threat from the failure of rural milling businesses due to the impact of modern commercial pressures.

The consumption of food has become far removed from the production of the raw ingredients. Few buildings symbolize this lost rural heritage of food production more graphically that the mill. Once locally grown cereal crops were turned into flour and animal feed at the local mill for the benefit of the local community and its economy. Now the raw materials and end products may come from anywhere in the world, and the food scares of the past few years have been testament to the impact on all our lives.

Supermarkets must share part of the blame for they demand large quantities of flour which the small mill enterprise cannot supply. The working mills have to look to the market of smaller independent bakeries. These however are also being put in danger by the supermarkets who sell bread as a loss leader product, undercutting the small baker. The bakeries in turn, have to look for lower cost flours, which the traditional mill producing high quality, highly specialized flours with low profit margins cannot supply.

Many mills are by necessity diversifying into other areas. Some are producing specialist flours, for example organic flours. Many small traditional mills are facing a future where the tour, tea and gift shop is more profitable than the mill.

National Mills Day is designed to focus public attention on the mills and the problems the owners face keeping them as living, working enterprises. The Mills Section wishes to encourage the public to visit and support mills of all descriptions and conditions, before it is too late.

The Mills Section has produced an illustrated guidebook Mills Open retail price £4.00 (plus £1 postage UK). It gives details of opening times, facilities, and historical and technological information on over 400 mills and is available by sending cheque or postal order payable to SPAB Mills Section to the address above.

Open mills and special events

The following mills had details of their special events available online I was also aware of the following other events:

Reports from previous years

In 1997, National Mills Day was Sunday, May 11th.


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Last updated 27/01/2014 Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2014 -