National Mills Weekend: discover more about our five Explore Essex mills, located across the county
Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, we are unable to open or welcome visitors to our mills for National Mills Weekend. However, we are celebrating our five Essex-based mills – and their history and heritage – online this year instead! Read on to find out more.
Posted on 7th May 2021
Alderford Water Mill
Alderford Water Mill, located in Sible Hedingham, is a restored, Grade II-listed timber building, typical of rural water mills. It used to mill corn but switched to producing animal feed during WW2. It is one of the best-preserved water mills in Essex, containing most of the original machinery.
Did you know… Following a catastrophic failure of the water wheel in May 2018, the team at Alderford Mill began repairing it. The last of the old woodwork was removed, leaving a bare cast iron centre section of the wheel. The new timber was cut from an Elm tree trunk and shaped by a local joinery. The first float and starts were fitted to the wheel.
Beeleigh Steam Mill
Beeleigh Steam Mill, located in Maldon, is one of the most attractive and fascinating mills in East Anglia. It includes a rare beam engine and elephant boiler. Records show there have been mills on this site since 1066.
In recent years, the restoration of the upper floor of Beeleigh Steam Mill began. This part of the mill was previously out of bounds due to a roof leak, which caused part of the floor to collapse. The Beeleigh Mill Restoration Group (BMRG) have written a blog about the repair project, you can read more here: https://beeleighmill.org.uk/2019/05/20/the-stone-floor-project-story/
Did you know… The Weatherboard Water Mill at Beeleigh, which housed two water wheels driving ten stones, was destroyed by fire in 1875 but the Steam Mill survived and remains as it was left.
Finchingfield Mill is the oldest mill in Essex, built around 1756. It is Grade II-listed and overlooks the picturesque village of Finchingfield – the ‘most photographed village in England!’
Did you know… Finchingfield used to be home to seven mills, this one is the last mill standing! It is a wind powered corn mill.
Built in 1807, Mountnessing Mill is the nearest Essex mill to London. It was a working site until 1924 (as well as briefly during 1932-1933). It has undergone many repairs over the years and has been fully restored to working order. The mill itself is a single-storey sixteen-sided roundhouse and has a ground floor with three floors above, four spring sails and two pairs of millstones.
Did you know… Mountnessing Mill stopped operating in 1933 but it still occasionally mills flour.
Stock Tower Mill
Stock Tower Mill, located near Ingatestone, is a wind powered corn mill. It is a five-storey Grade II listed tower mill with six-bladed fantail, built in around 1804. It has been carefully restored, complete with several floors of machinery.
Did you know… Stock Mill can rotate 360 degrees to catch the wind.
If you want to find out more about our mills, check out the 'Meet the Millwright' article on pages 22 - 25 of the Essex Explorer magazine.