July 31 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The secrets of a village mill will be revealed today (Sunday).
Topcliffe Mill in Meldreth opens to visitors as part of National Mills Weekend.
A watermill has been located on the site since the Domesday survey in 1086. The current building dates back to the 19th century, and though the waterwheel was removed in about 1942, all the machinery and three pairs of millstones remain.
Kathryn Betts, secretary of Meldreth Local History Group, is one of the mill’s owners.
She said: “This is the first time the mill has been opened for National Mills Weekend and visitors will be able to look inside and find out more about the role of the mill in local life over the centuries.
“There will be a small exhibition about the history of the mill and Topcliffe Manor that will include information on the mill’s ghost as well as old photographs of the mill.
“National Mills Weekend will provide a fantastic opportunity for people to explore the mill and find out more about its history. We look forward to welcoming visitors on the day.”
In addition, children will have the opportunity to use a quern, or hand mill, to grind grain to make flour.
As reported in the Crow, an archaeological test pit was dug close to the mill last year as part of Meldreth Local History Group’s Heritage Lottery funded project. Visitors will also be able to view information on finds from the pit.
There will be a small entrance charge of £3.50 per person. Accompanied children will be free and no unaccompanied children will be admitted. All proceeds from the open day will go towards supporting the work of Meldreth Local History Group.
The mill is located at 36 North End, Meldreth, SG8 6NT, opposite Holy Trinity Church.
Further information on Topcliffe Mill can be found on Meldreth Local History Group’s website, www.meldrethhistory.org.uk
Information on mills open nationwide can be found on the National Mills Weekend website at www.nationalm illsweekend.co.uk