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Sarehole Mill

Sarehole Mill

Cole Bank Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B13 0BD

Tel: +44 (0)121 348 8160

Entry: Charges apply to mill only. Grounds and tearoom are free to visit.
Adults 3
Concessions 2
Under 16s FREE
Annual multi site pass: 20 individual, 30 joint
Free entry on the first Sunday of the month.

Opening Times:
Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-4pm. Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays).

Milling most Wednesdays and Sundays (in dry periods please phone to confirm).
Open Saturday 12 April - Sunday 2 November.

Sarehole Mill is one of only two surviving working watermills in Birmingham. The existing building was constructed around 1750, although there was known to be a mill here as early as the Tudor period. Today the mill is best know for its association with the author JRR Tolkien who spent part of his childhood nearby and who used the site and its surroundings as the inspiration for the Shire in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Although now surrounded by the Birmingham suburbs, the mill retains a tranquil rural atmosphere and the millpond provides a haven for wildlife including kingfishers, herons and a range of other species.

Sarehole Mill and mill pond

Over the winter of 2012-13 the mill has undergone a major £450,000 restoration and refurbishment project. The works consisted of desilting and restoring the historic millpond and its sluice gates, the refurbishment of the Grade II listed mill building, new millstones and milling furniture, and the restoration of the Victorian bakehouse with its original oven dating from the 1850s.

The project means that Sarehole can continue to operate as a working watermill and be enjoyed by future generations. From Easter 2014, as well as being able to regularly mill and produce our own flour for sale, museum staff and volunteers will also demonstrate traditional bread baking using the outdoor breadoven oven on special event days.

Highlights at Sarehole Mill include:

  • The original main waterwheel, mill gears and grinding stones which visitors can see in action most days
  • The bakehouse with the original breadoven from the 1850s, large enough to hold 60 loaves of bread.
  • Signposts to Middle-Earth – this family-friendly exhibition explores the connections of JRR Tolkien with Sarehole Mill and the surrounding area. The Mill is part of the Tolkien Trail, which follows the childhood footsteps of the author and the places that influenced his writing. Download the Tolkien Trail leaflet.
  • The mill pool – newly desilted and returned to its original size. This tranquil pond is a haven for wildlife including herons, mallards and moorhens - and if you are lucky you might spot our resident kingfisher! We now have a pond-dipping platform and visitors can hire nets and see what minibeasts they can catch (Subject to availability. Children must be supervised by adults).

What's On at Sarehole Mill in August

  • Milling Sundays. 12pm to 4pm.
    See the large waterwheel turn and hear the millstones rumble. See What's On for more details. Admission charge to the mill applies (except for on the first Sunday of the month, when entry to the mill is free). 
  • Make summer tree decorations. 7th August, 1-3pm.
    Make some summer tree decorations to hang in your garden trees and plants. Drop in activity. £1 per child. 
  • Make a flying carp13th August, 1-3pm.
    Make a colourful Japanese Koinobori (flying carp). Drop in activity. £1 per child.
  • Origami butterflies. 14th August, 1-3pm.
    Make an origami butterfly. Drop-in activity. £1 per child.
  • Fly a kite17th August, 12.15-2.15pm
    Make a kite and from 2.15pm we'll fly our kites. £2 per child.
  • Baking bread17th August. 
    Come and try a slice of fresh, warm Sarehole bread. Free.
  • Nature sculptures20th August, 1-3pm.
    Make nature sculptures with things we can find. Drop-in activity. £1 per child. 
  • Outdoor nature cupcakes21st August, 1-3pm.
    Make cupcake mini gardens and sculptures. Drop-in activity. £1 per child.
  • Pond dipping. 22nd August, 12-3.30pm.
    Fish for some creepy crawlies in the mill pond and examine your catch under the microscope. Booking advisable (call 0121 348 8160). £1 per child. 
  • Simply messing about with boats23rd August
    Model boats demonstrations on the mill pond, barrel organ and dancing puppets in the yard. Free.
  • Pond dipping with Wildlife Trust24th August12.30-3.30pm.
    Fish for some creepy crawlies in the mill pond and examine your catch under the microscope. Booking advisable (call 0121 348 8160). Free. 
  • Make a bookworm 27th August, 1-3pm
    Make a bookworm to keep your place in your favourite book. Drop in. £1per child.
  • Make a key ring28th August, 1-3pm.
    Make a key ring. Drop-in activity. £1 per child. 

What's On at All Birmingham Museums' Heritage Sites

For more information on events and activities at all the heritage sites check the What’s On page for listings. 

See images of Sarehole Mill taken between 1895 and 1976 on flickr.  
To see how the mill looks today view the panorama of the mill.