National Mills Week

NEWS FROM EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK

Celebrate Britain’s mills heritage during National Mills Weekend 2013 on the 11 and 12 May with a visit to two local mills that will be open especially for the weekend.

The 19th century water-powered Simonsbath sawmill owned and restored by Exmoor National Park Authority will be open on both days and a highlight of the programme will be a performance by South Molton Town Band which is playing at the mill on the afternoon of Sunday 12 May, funded by the Heart of Exmoor scheme.

This year’s the theme for National Mill Weekend is ‘Tales from the Mills’ encouraging people to share their stories and memories of their local mill.

Graham Wills, who will be running the Simonsbath sawmill event, says: “A fascinating survival from the history of Simonsbath sawmill is the carpenter’s diary which tells us everything he did at the mill from 27 August 1906 – 17 November 1911 and we’d love to hear from people with a connection to the mill.”

Also open for National Mills Weekend is Cowbridge Sawmill in Timberscombe. The first Mill on this site dates from at least the 14th Century when it produced flour for the local people.

The mill was bought in a derelict state in 1995 by Owen and Angela Rush who have reroofed the building and rebuilt the floors. The dilapidated workshop and forge have also been demolished and replaced by an attractive two- storey building of local stone with a slate roof. The most ambitious aspect of the project has been the restoration of the 14 ft water wheel which used water from the mill leat to power the mill for over 700 years. The wheel will be running on National Mills Weekend and there will also be a collection of tools and machinery on display.

For details of these and other mills open for National Mills Weekend visit www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk

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About Programme Manager

Helping people to enjoy and appreciate Exmoor National Park's moorland, and supporting those who take care of it.
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