The Bridge Mill in Bridgerule opened its doors to the public recently as part of National Mills Weekend.
The mill stands on a site used since Saxon times and the present Victorian building has been restored to working order by the current owners, Alan & Rosie Beat. Visitors saw the water wheel driving the mill stones to grind organic wheat into wholemeal flour, while stewards were on hand to explain each stage of the process. Bags of freshly ground flour were available for visitors to take home.
Beyond the mill there was a signposted walk around the mill pond, lake and gardens of the 16 acre smallholding. The Lodestone Border Morris team from Tavistock performed a series of traditional dances at intervals through the day. Members of Bude Choral Society organised a plant sale, tombola, book stall and light refreshments to raise funds for their programme of public concerts, while local crafts on offer included pottery and hand made gifts. Also present were Devon Wildlife Trust and Project Prickles the hedgehog rescue charity.
Alan Beat said: “We were fortunate to have warm sunshine that encouraged around 350 visitors to enjoy the day with us. Those who haven’t experienced a working mill before are pleasantly surprised by the sensation that turning machinery and stones add to the building, “bringing it to life” as they often say. The water level in our millpond is lower than usual due to the recent dry spell, but there was sufficient to power the wheel throughout the day. Now we are hoping for rain to refill the pond for our next open day in three weeks time.”
The mill and gardens were open again on Sunday, May 29, for the National Gardens Scheme (the yellow book) which is a major source of funding for nursing charities.
For details visit the Bridge Mill website at www.thebridgemill.org.uk
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