Woodbridge Tide Mill

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Woodbridge Tide Mill
detail of The Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England is a rare example of a tide mill whose water wheel still turns and is capable of grinding a wholemeal flour.

The mill has been preserved and is open to the public, its machinery reflects the skills and achievements of the early Industrial Revolution. The mill is a three-storey building constructed from wood. Externally it is clad in white Suffolk boarding and has a Gambrel roof. The reservoir constructed for demonstration purposes is roughly half an acre in extent, the original 7-acre (28,000 m2) one is now a marina. It is a Grade I listed building.

History[edit]

The first recording of a tide mill on this site was a medieval mill in 1170; it is unknown how many mills have stood here, but probably three. The mill, which was operated by the local Augustinian priory in the Middle Ages, was acquired by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. It is possible that the Augustinians rebuilt the mill shortly before the dissolution. This mill was sold to Thomas Seckford Thomas Seckford by Elizabeth I Elizabeth I. That mill passed though the hands of various private owners until it was rebuilt in 1973. This is the mill preserved today.

By the outbreak of World War II the mill was one of only a handful still operating. In 1957 it closed as the last commercially operating tide mill in Britain. In 1968 the derelict mill was purchased by Mrs Jean Gardner and a restoration programme was launched. It was opened to the public five years later in 1973. It is now managed by a charitable trust (Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust) staffed by volunteers, and in 2011 the trust undertook a further and more complete restoration and modernisation project, including a new water wheel and fully restored machinery, which allowed milling to begin again. It re-opened in 2012 as an up to date visitor attraction, and is now one of only two tide mills in the UK that regularly grinds wheat grain producing wholemeal flour for resale.

See also[edit]

Other mills in, or strongly connected with Woodbridge:-

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°05′24″N 1°19′15″E / 52.0901°N 1.3209°E / 52.0901; 1.3209