Which mills in East Anglia are open during National Mills Weekend?
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015
A number of mills across East Anglia will throw open their doors to the public as part of a national weekend to give people a rare look inside the historical buildings.
National Mills Weekend is an annual event organised by the mills section of the Society of Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) where hundreds of windmills and watermills are opened to the public.
The weekend attracts a lot of attention from mill enthusiasts – called molinologists – based all around the world and East Anglia is a particular draw.
Bob Paterson, from The East Anglian Mills Society (TEAMS), which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, said: “East Anglia has a rich milling heritage and we are very lucky to have a large number of mills still standing.
“Some mills have been restored into working order grinding corn again after a period of dereliction, for example Wicken Corn Mill, Foster’s Mill Swaffham Prior, Stanton Post Mill and Thelnetham Tower Mill in Suffolk.
“Others have been restored and preserved as national monuments such as Thurne Dyke Windpump on the Norfolk Broads and Northfield Mill in Soham, Cambridgeshire.
“We have achieved a lot in 11 years and there have been some notable positive changes to some of our mills, including the full external restoration of two windmills and major rebuilding work on two of our rare open trestle post windmills at Great Chishill and Great Gransden in South Cambridgeshire over the last three years.”
Jonathan Cook, chairman of the SPAB mills section and owner of Fosters Mill in Cambridgeshire, said the weekend is “a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get inside their local windmill or watermill and explore their local industrial history”.
He added: “For mill owners it is also a chance to share our enthusiasm for these buildings and for traditional flour milling.”
National Mills Weekend takes place on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12.
Visit the SPAB website here for more information.
Mills open in East Anglia are as follows:
Burwell Stevens’ Mill, Cambridgeshire
Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm (last admission for a mill tour 3pm) (no charges to the mill)
Tel: 01638 605544. SAT NAV: CB25 0HL
Free entry to Stevens’ Mill and the museum all weekend. Tour Burwell’s only remaining windmill, meet the mill team and find out more about the history of our mill through photographs. At the museum, enjoy stalls, live music and home-made cake.
Fulbourn Smock Mill, Cambridgeshire
Saturday, May 11 only 10am to 5pm
Tel: 01223 880649. SAT NAV: CB21 5EG
Repps Wind Energy Museum - The Morse collection, Potter Heigham, Norfolk
You may also want to watch:
Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm with the Bittern Radio for ‘Mills on Air’.
Tel: 07796 407864. SAT NAV: NR29 5JU
Soham Northfield Mill, Cambridgeshire
Saturday, May 11 only 11am to 4pm
SAT NAV: CB7 5DE
Swaffham Prior - Fosters Mill, Cambridgeshire
Sunday, May 12 only 1.30pm to 5pm
Tel: 01638 741009. SAT NAV: CB25 0JZ
Thelnetham Tower Mill, Suffolk
Sunday, May 12 only 11am to 4pm (last admission for a mill tour 3pm)
SAT NAV: IP22 1JZ
Thurne Dyke Windpump, Norfolk
Sunday, May 12 only 11am to 3pm
Tel: 07796 407864. SAT NAV: NR29 3BU
Wicken Corn Mill, Cambridgeshire
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm
Tel: 01664 822751. SAT NAV: CB7 5XR