So much to see and do at Cotehele Mill

Cotehele Mill has existed since medieval times. From the 1870s, the Langsford family ran it for almost a century, after which the National Trust restored it and opened it to visitors as a working watermill in 1973. It was restored again in 2001.

The waterwheel

Walk round the back of the mill for an up-close view of the working waterwheel. It has 56 buckets, each holding up to nine gallons (approximately 41 litres) of water. At normal speed the waterwheel rotates at four revolutions per minute and can produce a maximum of 8.7 horsepower or 6.5 kilowatts.

Bagging the flour

The mill grinds organic wholemeal flour. You can watch the grinding and bagging on Thursdays and Sundays (water permitting) and buy a bag to take home. On most days you'll find a volunteer baker in the demonstration bakery using the flour in cakes and goodies for you to sample.

Milling at Cotehele Mill
Miller Sally milling flour at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall

Horse-drawn hay rake

The hay rake parked in front of the blacksmith's workshop would have been pulled by one horse with a small child on the seat squeezing the reins, probably hanging on for dear life.

Artisan workshops

During the nineteenth century many country estates and villages had workshops to provide specialist skills. At Cotehele Mill a group of workshops, such as a wheelwright's and saddler's workshops, have been recreated to give you a real sense of what the workshops were like in Victorian times.

The blacksmith's forge at Cotehele Mill
The blacksmith's workshop at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall

Dogs welcome

Dogs are welcome on leads throughout the workshops and outbuildings. Sorry dogs aren't permitted in the mill building itself where we produce flour and bake but there are plenty of other nice places to visit together. You’ll find water bowls for your pup and a poo bin is near the bridge about 100 metres away.

Southern marsh orchid

Latin name 'Dactylorhiza praetermissa', this orchid is a native, tuberous, perennial that favours marshy ground. These orchids love the meadow and bloom prolifically in late spring/early summer.

Southern marsh orchids bloom in the meadow at Cotehele Mill
Southern marsh orchid in the meadow at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall

Hydro-electric scheme

People have harnessed the power of water for centuries. In the 1920s the mill generated its own electricity. Today we depend on the Morden stream to power a small hydro-electric plant.

The scheme can produce three to four kilowatts of power at 230 volts providing a modest but important contribution to carbon free, renewable electricity generation. We sell the electricity back to the National Grid. You can see the plant along the stream just beyond the waterwheel.

The butter well

You’ll find a 'butter well' near the hydro-electric plant upstream from the water wheel. The well is an outdoor cupboard that the miller used as a sort of refrigerator. The butter well stays cool, even in the height of summer, because it’s built into the slope and spring water pools in the base. You can see some butter making equipment in the bakery.

The butter well at Cotehele Mill
The butter well tucked into the rock at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall

Chairmaker

Barry Mays combines green woodworking know-how, traditional chair-making techniques and intuitive assembly to make ‘Wild Chairs’. The timber comes from sustainable sources within Cornwall and Devon and the seats are made from natural materials. You can see him in his workshop from Monday - Saturday.

Potter on site

Zane Hazeldine is the resident potter. Pop in to watch him work, have a chat and perhaps buy a pot or a vase. You'll find him in his workshop from Sunday - Friday. His workshop is open on Saturdays too.