Tuesday 5 April 2011

Houghton Water Mill, Cambridgeshire

Since before the Norman Conquest, there has been a mill at Houghton. The current mill dates from the seventeenth century, replacing the previous one that was destroyed by fire. It is one of the most complete mills along the length of the River Ouse. The mill stopped active work in 1930 and was converted to a youth hostel in 1934. The Mill and the adjacent caravan and campsite are owned by the National Trust, and in 1998/1999 a £1.2m building programme was completed to refurbish the Mill, install a working water wheel and an underground turbine.

Part of the cost of this work was funded by a Heritage Lottery Grant of £624,360. The work maintains the Mill's reputation as a popular tourist attraction.

The Mill is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 2.00-5.30p.m. from April to October, and is additionally open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from July to September at the same times. Milling takes place on Sundays (subject to water level), starting at 2.00p.m.; the wholewheat flour produced (from wheat grown at nearby Wimpole Hall) is on sale, and there is a small tea room for light refreshments.

The National Trust website advises that the mill is "situated in a stunning riverside setting and full of excellent hands-on activities for all the family, this five-storey historic building is the last working watermill on the Great Ouse. Flour is for sale, ground in the traditional way by water-powered mill stones. Note: milling demonstrations subject to river levels. Don't miss Milling Demonstrations: Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 1 pm to 5 pm. Wander or cycle through the neighbouring water meadows. New conservation room - discover more about the local wildlife. Family events programme including open-air theatre and hands-on baking days. Dogs on leads in grounds only".

The above information is courtesy of the National Trust website and http://www.houghtonandwyton.co.uk/mill.php

Above image:  Houghton Watermill
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