HEREFORDSHIRE will echo to the long-lost sounds of toiling mills at a special event this weekend.
Corn mills and cider mills, some dating back to the 17th century, will be opening their doors on Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors will get a chance to see three mills at work in the county. Among the 16 open mills, Clenchers Mill at Eastnor and Olchon House Farm Mill at Llanveynoe, near Longtown will be open and grinding corn on Saturday only, while Clodock Mill, also near Longtown, will be at work on Saturday and Sunday.
At Newchurch Mill in Kinnersley, visitors will have a rare opportunity to see ruins of an old mill with millstones and a fine, early Kington-made overshot waterwheel which was fed by a large pond. Court of Noke Mill, near Staunton-on-Arrow, will be open for visitors to walk around the water gardens which supplied the waterwheel, and in turn ground feed for the farm’s prize Hereford cattle.
Herefordshire organiser Alan Stoyel points out that these are private properties and those interested can only visit during specific opening times. He hopes that the weekend will help keep alive the heritage and ancient buildings. He believes that the National Mills Weekend has helped a great deal in raising the profile of these mills in recent years.
“The county once had more than 400 working mills producing the local flour but most have disappeared from the landscape,” he said.
• Mills open on Saturday include: Pontynys Mill, Longtown; Rowlestone Mill, near Ewyas Harold; Hergest Mill, Kington; Fair Oak Farm, Bacton.
Sunday openings include: Archer’s Mill, now Clover Mill Spa Retreat, Cradley; Arrow Mill, Kingsland; Staunton Mill, Staunton-on-Arrow; The Corn Mill, Michaelchurch Escley; Waterworks Museum, Hereford; and Crowards Mill, Eyton.
Court of Noke Mill and Mordiford Mill will be open on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information go to www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk or contact Alan Stoyel on 01544 230235.