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The history of Clyston Mill

Enjoy a walk to Clyston Mill
Enjoy a walk to Clyston Mill | © National Trust Images / David Sellman

A real hidden gem, Clyston Mill is a piece of history where you can still see a traditional stone mill.

History of the mill

Clyston Mill, thought to be of early 19th century origin, is one of the South West’s last remaining watermills. It sits by the River Clyst and is surrounded by farmland and orchards.

Back in the day, the Mill would have been a busy and noisy place, with grain arriving by the wagon load and prices being argued with local farmers. The miller had an ‘eye’ for the flow of the water, an ‘ear’ for the sound of stones grounding, a ‘thumb’ for the quality of flour and the ‘feel’ for the slow working of the mill.

The present mill building is probably of early nineteeth century origin, its location and proximity to the village church indicate that it probably occupies an ancient site.

Water from the River Clyst historically turned the waterwheel and would drive the mill machinery. The sluice gate beside the wheel is closed to raise the water level to run the mill wheel and is opened to drop the water level when the mill is idle. The waterwheel is a low-breast shot wheel installed in 1880.

Milling machinery

Pick up an information card on arrival at the mill to discover more about the history of the building and the purpose of each element of the mechanics.