Stretton Watermill

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Stretton Watermill

Stretton Watermill is a working historic watermill in Stretton, Cheshire, England. It is owned and administered by Cheshire West and Chester Council. The mill is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building and the mill machinery is considered to be of national importance.[1]


The earliest record of the mill is when it changed ownership in 1351. In the 16th century the mill was owned by the Leche family. The oldest surviving parts of the building date from 1630, at which time it was timber-framed and had a single breastshot wheel. In 1770 the mill was extended by Samuel Leche, son of John Leche XIV of Carden, sheriff of Chester and Mary Hurleston, the roof was raised and the thatched roof replaced by slates. The timber framing was encased in weatherboarding and sandstone, and an overshot wheel was added. In 1852 the timber breastshot wheel was replaced by a similar type of wheel in cast iron. The mill finally ceased operation in 1959.[2] The mill machinery was restored by Cyril Boucher in 1967, with partial funding from the Science Museum.[1] The mill has been a museum since 1976.[3]


The mill is constructed on a timber-framed core, and is cased in weatherboarding and sandstone. There is a brick extension, and a chimney in stone and brick. The roofs are slated. The mill is in two storeys, with an attic for storing grain. The windows are all casements, some with shutters. There are two working waterwheels, one on the outside, the other inside the building. The external wheel is a timber overshot wheel, which drives largely 18th-century wooden machinery. The internal wheel is in cast iron, and is breastshot; it drives Victorian mainly cast iron machinery. The upper storey, which contains two millstones, is entered by a steep external stairway, and the grain loft is accessed by a ladder. Outside the mill are stone steps leading up to the mill dam, and a stone-lined millrace with a sluice.[1]

Present day[edit]

The site operates as a museum and visitor centre. It is open on advertised days during the summer months, and there is an admission charge. In addition to the working mill, there is an exhibition area in the former stables. Guided tours are arranged, and there is an education service.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England, "Stretton Mill and steps, millrace and sluice adjoining (1279423)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 19 August 2012 
  2. ^ a b Stretton Watermill, Cheshire West and Chester, retrieved 19 August 2012 
  3. ^ Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 613, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 

Coordinates: 53°04′18″N 2°48′56″W / 53.07156°N 2.81564°W / 53.07156; -2.81564

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