Our work at Bourne Mill

Work on the Mill is ongoing, with a busy year-round programme of repairing and restoring; conserving and preserving.

Bringing places to life

The mill has a rich history and it's our job to try and convey this in a manner that best suits and respects the mill. The University of Essex students have been involved in the reinterpretation of the Mill as part of the recent Heritage Lottery Funded project 'Bourne Mill - Uncovering Colchester's Social and Industrial Past'.
There are many projects on the go all year round and luckily we have an ever-growing team of volunteers to help.

People, pleasure and patience

Our volunteer team are passionate about Bourne Mill and have researched various aspects of the Mill's history. Whilst some of the jigsaw is falling into place, there are still lots of gaps which we're still trying to fill. To improve our knowledge under the Heritage lottery Project we commissioned a historical report from Dr. Chris Thornton and one exploring the role of food and entertainment in the Mill's history from Ivan Day which are available on request.
Volunteers from the Colchester Decorative and Fine Arts Society have also been contributing to the research resource available and the Mill. 

Water wheel repairs

Due to factors such as the water wheel permanently sitting in water and culverts being too shallow, there are many repair jobs which take place every other year just to keep our waterwheel turning.


This mosaic of different stones needs to be looked after in a particular way. Some methods in the past haven't been suitable, so some work is 'repair and restore' while other work requires us to 'conserve and preserve'.

Physic Garden 

The growing volunteer garden team worked on creating a physic garden in 2015 to enhance the Mill frontage. Donations of plants came from all over and they developed a beautiful interpretation of the herbs and plants which would have acted as they medicine cabinet down the centuries. The research is ongoing and there are more plans for 2016.