Battling cobwebs and flour dust to keep the Mill clean

A volunteer tackling the pre-season clean

Once the mill reopens for the season each Spring it produces over 150kg of freshly ground flour each Sunday, and with that comes a lot of noise and dust.

Dusting during the week is an essential conservation task for our tenacious cleaning staff and volunteers. 

However, unlike the delicate dusting skills required at some of our sister National Trust properties, our cleaners are armed with long handled brushes, brooms and vacuum cleaners.  

They need to regularly remove as much of the flour dust as possible from the historic machinery, wooden beams and hands-on interactive displays. 

Meadow spiders vs Houghton Mill 

One thing all the flour dust really shows up is cobwebs.  

Meadow spiders are completely harmless but prolific web builders inside the Mill. Their webs catch the flour dust created during weekend milling, and no sooner are they removed they reappear again! 

We can't possibly remove all the webs and they do add to the atmosphere of the historic mill. Don't worry if you'd like to volunteer but hate cobwebs, there are lots of other ways to get involved here.