Sarehole Mill Comes Alive

During the winter of 2012-13 major restoration of surroundings, buildings and engineering has taken place costing £450,000.

It was a very interesting place to visit for individuals and families before, but now it has had working life added to the  historic buildings.

The millpond has been desilted and its sluice gates rebuilt. Also, refurbishment of the Grade II listed mill building has taken place with new millstones and milling furniture installed. The  Victorian bakehouse with its original oven dating from around 1850 has also been restored and brought to life.

Soon, at weekends and bank holidays the mill will grind flour (for sale) and the oven will bake bread in the traditional way from its output.

I visited there on Sunday 31 March and found the mill mechanism turning under power from a waterwheel – it seemed to be working well. However, the massive coal heated brick oven is under trial at the moment to gain experience of how to operate it – a fire is created inside, then, when the oven gets up to temperature the coals are removed and the bread baked. So, no sign of baking bread just yet.

History: The building was constructed circa 1750. The mill is associated with author JRR Tolkien. Part of his childhood was spent nearby and it is said that the site and surrounding area he used as the catalyst for creating the Shire in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Below are some photos I took.

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