Houghton Mill has stood on the banks of the River Great Ouse for over 1,000 years. It's a unique wooden structure which needs our continued love and care.
Over the last two years, a team of volunteers have been leading a project which will enable visitors to experience the mill working on a regular basis. Previously, the mill had only a waterwheel powering one set of stones which could only be used when the river is at a certain level. The volunteers have now installed a new set of millstones powered by hydro-electricity which will not only enable more people to see, hear and smell the mill in action, but also enable us to produce more flour for everyone to enjoy. This will continue the tradition of Potto Brown, a former miller at Houghton Mill, whose epitaph, which can be found in the village square, Houghton, Huntingdonshire, reads:
'Born in this village 16 July 1797 he spent his life devoting himself to the best interests of those around him.'
We've been very busy at the mill installing a new set of millstones so more grain can be milled in the traditional way.
The Mill has an existing set of millstones that usually operate every Sunday. In response to demand, we've installed a new set of French stones which can be used regardless of river levels and at the flick of a switch.
The turbine at Houghton Mill has been refurbished in preparation for powering the new set of millstones..
The turbine, which is hydro-powered, is already creating more power - enough to service the property, its millstones, the tea-room, and we're still able to sell some back to the National Grid.
Conservation at the Mill
As part of our routine conservation work, the Mill recently underwent extensive conservation last autumn when the entire weatherboarding was covered in scaffolding and repainted from top to bottom.
This colossal task occurs every five years to ensure this historic wooden building, which needs a lot of looking after, will remain standing for another 1,000 years.