The Town Mill’s evolving sustainable technology

The world of milling is full of wonderful-sounding words that few of us know the meaning of today: balance rynd, bolter, brayer, damsel, feed shoe, flume, furrowing stick, gudgeon, middlings, quern, quill stick, wallower...

It’s a vocabulary highly evocative of a bygone age. And yet at The Town Mill the past is brought alive. You’ll feel you’re stepping back in time when you visit The Town Mill, but because it’s a working watermill, its history and mechanisms come alive in front of your very eyes.

Evolving technology

Although there has been a mill on the site since at least 1340, the technology driving the waterwheel has changed over the years. The late medieval waterwheels of 1340 remained in place until at least 1640. Modifications came slowly at first, but then the burgeoning Industrial Revolution quickly spurred improvements.

In March 2007 a new micro hydro-electric system was opened at The Town Mill. The fully automatic system is designed to run 24 hours a day and produce 32,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and save 13 tonnes of Co2 annually.

You can see the past, and a more environmentally sustainable future co-existing here at The Town Mill.

new hydro machine

Mill entrance: off The Town Mill courtyard
Hydro viewing as part of the milling tour:

Daily, 11am-4pm, subject to volunteer availability