Text Size:

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 October

  • 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). 
  • Booksale & free entry. 5th October12-4pm
    A wide selection of books will be available to browse through and millers will be at work grinding wheat and producing Sarehole flour. Free entry to mill. 
  • Fungi Day - Fungi collection on display12th October, 12-4pm
    Fungi from the collection will be on display and Natural History Curators will be at hand to inform you about some interesteing fungi specimens. Free.
  • Fungi Day - Make a Fungi Fashion hat. 12th October
    Make a wacky m
    ushroom/toadstool hat with artworker Jim Morris. Sessions at 12, 1, 2 and 3pm. Booking advisable (call 0121 348 8160)£1 per child.
  • Fungi Day - Fungi Walk with the rangers12th October, 10.30am
    Join the rangers for a leisurely walk along the river Cole searching for, and identifying, mushrooms, toadstools, yeasts and moulds. Some local fungi foraging included. Free.
  • Baking bread. 12th October
    Come and try a slice of fresh, warm bread. We will be baking our Sarehole signature bread - made with Sarehole flour, honey and lavender - in the outdoor bread oven. Free. 
  • The Origins of Middle-earth walk26th October, 1pm
    A guided walk exploring the surroundings that inspired JRR Tolkien, including Moseley bog. Pre-booking advised (call  0121 348 8160). £7 per person (includes admission to the Mill).
  • Lotions and potions29th October, 1-3pm
    Make your own magic wands and witches potions ready for Halloween. Turn nuts from trees to eyeballs and spiky twigs to claws and fingernails. Drop in. £1 per child. 
  • Autumn Art30th October, 1-3pm
    Help us give our trees faces using clay, warm them for the colder months by making tree scarves and hang tree bunting in their branches. Drop in. £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.