Alderford Water Mill

Restored, Grade II-listed timber building, typical of rural water mills and one of the best preserved in Essex. The water wheel often runs on open days.

At a glance

Opening times

Open for Summer 2024

Open on the second Sunday of each month from April through to October, 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

Sunday 14 April; Sunday 12 May (National Mills Weekend), Sunday 9 June; Sunday 14 July; Sunday 11 August; Sunday 8 September and Sunday 13 October.

For event enquiries:

For filming enquiries:

Or call: 03330 138222

Find & contact

Alderford Water Mill, Alderford Street, Sible Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, England, CO9 3HZ
Get directions

0345 603 7624

Parking & prices

Limited parking along the road in Alderford Street.

At this place

  • Picnics allowed
  • Dogs not allowed
  • BBQs not allowed


This Grade II-listed timber building is typical of rural water mills and one of the best preserved in Essex.

It stands where Alderford Road crosses the River Colne on the east side of Sible Hedingham.

It has a breast-shot waterwheel, and three steam-driven and two water-driven millstones, one restored to working order. The water wheel inside runs on open days when water levels allow.

Come and visit us. See opening times above.


The earliest known reference to a mill on this site dates from 1597. The current mill building is 19th century, with an earlier undershot waterwheel – probably 17th century.

The site mainly milled corn until WWII when it began producing animal feed.

The original 18th-century mill had two sets of stones. In around 1850 the mill was altered to incorporate a steam mill, increasing production and offsetting against times when water levels were too low to drive the waterwheel. The mill then boasted three sets of steam-driven stones and two sets of water-driven stones.

Later, the steam engine was replaced with an oil engine and in the 1940s, the mill was electrified. Belt-driven free-standing crushers replaced the engine-driven millstones. These and the water-driven stones continued grinding corn and pulses for animal feed until the mill stopped producing in 1956.

Essex County Council bought the building in 1994 and restored it alongside the Friends of Alderford Mill. The site has been welcoming visitors on open days since 2008.

See Alderford Mill in operation.


Open Days

See dates and times above.

Walks in the area

  • Alderford Mill lies at one end of the Hedingham Riverside Walk, a natural wilderness area maintained by local volunteers. You can enter this walk beside the mill and enjoy a pleasant stroll along a path suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • You can also begin the Hedingham Mills Walk from Alderford Mill, a well-maintained and well-marked one-hour circular walk taking you past Hull's Mill and back through a bluebell wood.

Group visits

Arrange a group visit to Alderford Mill by emailing


By joining Friends Of Alderford Mill you can learn more about the mill’s history and how it works, become a guide, help further restore the mill and meet new people. Contact the Friends to get involved.

National Mills Weekend

National Mills Weekend Sunday 14 May 2023.

Free admission, but donations to the Friends Group are much appreciated.



There are no toilets at the mill.


Ready access to ground floor only.

Image gallery

Where to find us

Explore Essex

Search our parks and places to plan your perfect day out

Or explore events and activities

Venues you may be interested in...