There has been a water mill on this site since before 1300 although it has been altered several times of the years, ultimately falling into disuse in 1957. Following which the mill rapidly became derelict and damaged by the silt that was washed in during river floods.

During the 1960’s it was hoped that the National Trust might take it over, but due to insufficient funds it wasn’t possible. Instead Heatherslaw Mill Charitable Trust was formed in 1972 with the object of restoring the mill and developing it as a working museum.

The Upper Mill has been fully restored to working order and currently produces around 7 tons of flour a year. Some of the flour goes into bread, cakes and biscuits made in the bakery at the mill, which is sold in the shop and Granary Tea Room.

The Lower Mill is not operational, but is used to demonstrate parts of the milling process that normally takes place out of site.

The mill still produces flour using the traditional methods and combines the best of old and new technology. It was a fascinating place to visit especially as I was lucky enough to pick the day when they were changing to a new batch of grain. Every harvest is different and it meant the careful tweaking of the machinery until the flour was just right. The mill kept speeding up and slowing down until it worked on the grain, eventually it settled down into a smooth rhythm.

More information on the mill can be found here.

Heatherslaw Mill

12 Comments CherryPie on Oct 3rd 2009

12 Responses to “Heatherslaw Mill”

  1. Bernard says:

    Whereabouts was the water-wheel Cherie?

    • CherryPie says:

      The waterwheel is in the basement, in the part of the building that is jutting out at the back. Water enters via a sluice.

      The smaller part of the building at the front was The Old Malting House and is now home to the Granary Tea Rooms.

  2. Ellee says:

    It’s a lovely location, and I agree we should do what we can to preserve our rich heritage.

  3. ubermouth says:

    That’s a beautiful picture and a great place to have a tearoom also. Did you have tea there and buy bread?

  4. It looks an interesting place to visit.

    • CherryPie says:

      It was very interesting, especially because they had just started the mill and the lady spent a lot of time explaining about the process :-)

  5. Dragonstar says:

    I love mills. It’s a while since I was over here – very little spare time for blogging and visiting – and I can see I’ve missed a treat. You’ve been to some wonderful, picturesque places.

  6. Definitely an interesting place to visit and watch the whole milling process.
    I’d love to live on the banks of that beautiful little river…