Explore the 18th Century water mill at Houghton Mill
At the height of the Victorian era Houghton Mill was one of the most successful flour mills in the region, producing flour on an industrial scale and exporting it far and wide. Explore the history of the building and follow the milling process as you journey through three floors of traditional machinery and hands on exhibits.
Follow the journey from grain to flour
Discover how flour was milled in the 18th Century, starting from where the grain was once hoisted up to the top floor from the barges below, right through to where the stone ground flour still comes fresh off the French Burr stones.
Exhibits and volunteer room guides help to bring the process to life. Experiment with opening and shutting model locks to see how they affects changing river water levels and transport grain from one end the building to the other using a large scale model hopper. You can heave sacks of grain using traditional pulley systems and turn a traditional hand quern to mill flour yourself.
As you journey around the Mill you will see the huge Victorian machinery, including cogs, wheels and millstones, much of which is still in use. Within the 18th Century building you will also see wooden timbers that have survived from a much earlier time.
Experience the 18th Century water mill in action
On milling days you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of this historic water mill as it would have been over 150 years ago. Our volunteer millers will bring to life the experience of running a mill amidst the clamour of the giant cogs, shuddering machinery and whirring mill stones.
Watch the giant water wheel turn, the grain pour into the millstones and the fresh flour fall into sacks to be hoisted off to the flour store or stitched into small bags of Houghton Mill flour ready to be sold.
Houghton Mill flour
Our freshly milled stone-ground wholemeal flour is available to buy in the Mill, tea room or campsite shops for you to try using at home. Our flour is also used to bake the delicious scones and cakes in our tea room if you would like to sample it first!
The Mill runs on Sunday afternoons during open season and also on Wednesday afternoons during the summer. Please check our opening hours for exact times and dates.
Due to the nature of the historic building, the mill has uneven floors and staircases that are not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. However, the ground floor is fully accessible and an interactive virtual tour will help you explore the building if you are unable to use the stairs. Young children should be supervised at all times.