Shalford Mill sits on the Tillingbourne stream, as much a part of the medieval village as the church over the road or the pub opposite. Shalford is a lovely reminder of how things used to work with the artisan cottages collected around the focal points. Visiting the Mill gives you a view of how things used to be.
The Ferguson Gang
Discover the delightful story of the Ferguson Gang from the exhibition in the Mill. This group of well-educated, eccentric young women were true conservationists - Shalford Mill was their first donation to the National Trust. They held their meetings sitting around the mill stone on the first floor.
The huge pitwheel which measures 9ft across was made in Guildford, probably in the 1830s. It sent the power from the waterwheel upwards through the Mill and was a vital piece of equipment in the days when the Mill was working practically non-stop.
The line shafting in the Mill, although now missing its leather belts, transferred the energy from the waterwheel around each floor, powering the free-standing machines which were all part of the milling process.
The oat crusher
This is possibly evidence of milling diversification. When demand for flour from small local mills declined, millers had to look for new ways of making money.
Maybe they found there was a need for them to cut up turnips and potatoes for animal feed? Or perhaps an obsolete mill was a good place to dump obsolete equipment - what do you think?
A 1935 Banksy?
It's probably not, but authentic grafitti from 1935 adds to the atmosphere in the Mill. The scents of its past life - grain, dust, damp, tallow - envelop you as soon as you go through the door.
Shalford Mill is a fascinating place to visit, but we're limited to a maximum of 30 people at any one time. There's no toilet or tearoom on site, but there's a lovely pub across the road, which is called The Seahorse. To book a tour, call 01483 561389.
The virtual tour
For those of you not keen to climb up three floors of ladders, we have a virtual tour on a laptop on the ground floor. Our knowledgeable guides will supply the detail and you'll see what it looks like from the ground floor.