Milling for a millennium
A watermill was recorded in Crakehall in the Domesday Survey of 1086AD but the current mill dates mainly from the 17th century and is an excellent example of a country corn mill. It was once owned by the famed Neville family of Middleham Castle but became Crown Property in the 15th century and was sold by James I in 1624. Milling ceased around 1930 and it lay derelict until restoration of the building and machinery was begun in 1977 by Colonel Whitaker Holmes who should be credited with saving the mill at this point. By 1980, the labour of love was complete and it began to grind corn again. Two of the subsequent owners continued to mill but by 2002 it was closed at which point it was in need of further costly repairs. It is now up and running again, please see below.
The Mill and its machinery are Grade II Listed.
Click on any of the images below to get a closer look.
The Mill Today
Following extensive skilled repairs in 2010, the massive breast shot waterwheel turned again and harnessed sustainable water power to grind and produce Crakehall Watermill 100% stoneground wholemeal flour once more.
The repair work was filmed by Keo Films, the programme makers responsible for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s RIver Cottage series, and featured in the BBC TV series ‘The Big Bread Experiment’ on BBC2 December 2011, and repeated January / February 2014. The series followed the establishment of Bedale Community Bakery – ‘Bread … Actually ‘, which became the newly-reopened mill’s first customer.
Matt Baker and the Countryfile team also visited for a July 2011 broadcast.
Kieran Long from Restoration Home, Series 2, also visited for an August 2012 broadcast in connection with the restoration of Coulton Mill.
Visits to this working mill are possible, but it is not open on a regular weekly basis. The owners are happy to show pre-booked groups around the mill (they have enjoyed welcoming groups from Crakehall School and other local primary schools). Alternatively the mill will be open and flour will be on sale on the dates listed below. Please also be aware that due to the structure and layout of this historic building, there are a number of steps and uneven surfaces.
2017 Mill Open Days
Sunday 2 April 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 16 April 12.00 – 16.00 Easter Sunday
Sunday 7 May 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 4 June 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 2 July 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 6 August 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 3 September 12.00 – 16.00
These dates are subject to changes but we will do our best to maintain the schedule and visitors are advised to check before coming along, please see our website www.crakehallwatermill.co.uk