10 of the best wind and water mills: a fascinating aspect of UK heritage and landscape

10 of the best wind and water mills: a fascinating aspect of UK heritage and landscape

Heage Windmill

Heage, Derbyshire

Adverts in the Derby Mercury record a call for a mason to build Heage mill in 1791, and the search for a tenant in 1798. Volunteers have painstakingly hand-finished 126 canvas shutters on the Grade II listed building, and the full working mill reopened in 2002. Buy your flour now!

  • Open weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am-4pm. Adult £3.50, Conc £3, Child £1.50. Call 01773 853579 or visit www.heagewindmill.co.uk

Talgarth Mill

Talgarth, Powys

With a café and bakery on site, lovers of that freshly-baked smell should make a beeline for Talgarth. The fully restored 18th Century mill produces flour from both locally grown and organic wheat. Guided tours available, plus a cooperative craft shop on site.

Hele Corn Mill

Hele, North Devon

Hele Corn Mill fell into disrepair after the Second World War. However the Jones family now mill flour here. New for 2014, The Miller’s Wife Tearoom will be selling Thunder and Lightning, a cream tea with golden syrup instead of jam!

  • Open Fri-Sun until July, then Sun-Fri, 11am-5pm. Adult £3, Senior £2.50, Child £1.50. Call 01271 863185 or visit www.helecornmill.com

Heckington Windmill

Heckington, Lincolnshire

The only eight-sailed windmill in the UK. Originally built in 1830, the cap and sails were salvaged and installed in 1892. The Mill House Tea Rooms proudly serve cakes and pastries made with Heckington flour.

  • Open Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Monday afternoons. Free entry to ground floor, upper floors Adult £3, Child £1.50. Call 01529 461919 or visit www.heckingtonwindmill.org.uk

Lacey Green Windmill

nr Princes Risborough, Bucks

This four-storey smock mill dates back to 1650, and its unique wooden machinery has been restored by the Chiltern Society. However, a long-accepted story that the mill had originally been built in Chesham and later moved now appears to be unfounded.

Heron Corn Mill

Beetham, Cumbria

Heron Corn Mill is an 18th Century watermill on the River Bela in Beetham. It has just undergone major work to restore the waterwheel and improve visitor facilities. Talks, demonstrations, vintage car displays and even Viking re-enactments take place on-site, some free, and some at a nominal cost.

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge, Suffolk

Woodbridge was one of the first of its kind in the country (the earliest record of a tide mill on this site by the River Deben was in 1170). It has seen some historical turbulence – once owned by the Augustinian Priors, then confiscated by Henry VIII...

House Mill

Bromley-by-Bow, London

Take a fascinating guided tour of the House Mill, currently under restoration. The heritage of this medieval milling site needed care and attention after it was bombed in 1941, having once provided flour for the bakers of Stratford-atte-Bowe. Enjoy the beautiful riverside location from the café.

  • Open Sun 11am-4pm. Tour times vary as these are ‘on demand’. Adult £3, Conc £1.50. Call 0208 980 4626 or visit www.housemill.org.uk

Wicken Windmill

Nr Ely, Cambs

In 1987, the Wicken Windmill Preservation Group bought this 12-sided smock mill, to restore it to working order. Wicken now produces wholemeal and white flour, available to buy on open days. Not bad for over 200 years old!

  • Open the first full weekend of each month until Nov, 10am-6pm, Celebration Day and Fête on Jun 28. Visit www.wicken-windmill.com

Oldland Windmill

Hassocks, West Sussex

Built in 1703, Oldland is set in the South Downs National Park, and played a part in Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Impressively, its new sails have been built entirely by volunteers.

  • Open the first Sunday of each month until Oct, or volunteer workers will gladly show you around on Thursdays. Entry free, donations welcome. Visit www.oldlandwindmill.co.uk

The Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings campaigns to repair and restore mills, arranges events and encourages the survival of traditional millers and their craft. Call 0207 377 1644 or visit www.spab.org.uk/spab-mills


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