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21st September 2012
Extensive repair and restoration works are currently taking place at Sarehole Mill (September - December 2012). The aim of the project is to safeguard Sarehole's future as a working water mill and to start producing stone-ground flour. We also hope to bake bread using the restored oven.
The project includes dredging of the pool, repair of the mill machinery and mill roof as well as restoration of the Victorian bakehouse and oven (to working order). As a result the mill is currently clad in scaffolding. Dredging machinery will be working in the pond in October to February. The tearoom will remain open in September and October but access to the mill building and pool will be restricted. No entry charge will be made when viewing accessible areas in the mill.
The goal is to become a working mill once more and sell stone-ground flour from our mill shop and bake bread in our Victorian bread oven.
At the moment the mill pond has silted up and can no longer contain enough water to run the waterwheel. Desilting will take place in the autumn and will result in a larger, deeper pool which will allow us to operate the waterwheel and grind wheat again. The pool has been drained to repair the sluice gates as one gate was close to collapse.
To be able to mill regularly, the mill machinery also needs repairs and a traditional millwright will be working at Sarehole this autumn. The new mill stones, which you can see in the mill yard, were made in Birmingham and were lying unused in a farmyard.
The large bread oven in the bake-house (dating from c. 1850) will be restored to working order. We hope to fire the oven with coal (the way it was done in Victorian times) and sell loaves baked from our own flour, both at events and on a more regular basis in the future.
Scaffolding around the building is required to repair the roof. Although the tiles do not look too bad, they are in poor condition. We hope to recycle as many tiles as possible but this will depend on their condition when inspected.
Sarehole Mill will close on 28 October for the winter and will re-open again as a working watermill Easter 2013.
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