Meldreth's Topcliffe Mill to open for weekend celebrating history

PUBLISHED: 06:59 09 May 2019

Topcliffe Mill in Meldreth will be opening to visitors as part of National Mills Weekend. This picture shows the Peters family from Orwell outside the mill in about 1890. From left, John Read on the cart, Johnnie Rayner, Herbert Peters, George Peters, Ethel Peters, Maria Peters, maid Maud Flack, and Maria's sister Mrs Dunkin. Picture: Courtesy of Meldreth History Society

Topcliffe Mill in Meldreth will be opening to visitors as part of National Mills Weekend. This picture shows the Peters family from Orwell outside the mill in about 1890. From left, John Read on the cart, Johnnie Rayner, Herbert Peters, George Peters, Ethel Peters, Maria Peters, maid Maud Flack, and Maria's sister Mrs Dunkin. Picture: Courtesy of Meldreth History Society

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Topcliffe Mill in Meldreth will be opening to visitors as part of National Mills Weekend.

The mill pond from 1930.  Picture: Courtesy of Meldreth History SocietyThe mill pond from 1930. Picture: Courtesy of Meldreth History Society

National Mills Weekend is the annual festival of the UK's milling heritage, and the chance for everyone to explore their local windmills and watermills.

The weekend is co-ordinated by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Topcliffe Mill in North End is a disused watermill on a probable Domesday site.

Although the waterwheel has been removed, an almost complete set of bins, three pairs of millstones and all of the machinery remain in the mill.

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The mill is in private ownership and this will be the first time since 2017 that it has been open to the public.

This year, National Mills Weekend is celebrating 'Our Mill - Its History in Pictures', and to tie in with this there will be a display of photographs, dating from the earliest known photograph of the mill, taken in c. 1890.

There will also be a small display on the history of the mill on the ground floor and there will be an opportunity to grind corn using a quern, or hand mill - an activity which is particularly popular with younger visitors!

Joan Gane, chairman of the Meldreth Local History Group, said: "National Mills Weekend presents a chance for local people to look inside Topcliffe Mill and find out more about the role of the mill in local life over the centuries and about some of the families that have lived and worked there. We look forward to welcoming visitors."

The mill will be open to visitors from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is £4 per adult, with accompanied children free. No unaccompanied children will be admitted.

All proceeds from the event are being donated to Meldreth Local History Group, which is raising funds to upgrade its website - www.meldrethhistory.org.uk.

Further information on the mill can be found on Meldreth Local History Group's website at www.meldrethhistory.org.uk, while information on mills open nationwide can be found on the National Mills Weekend website at www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk.

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