800-year-old mill opens for Heritage Open Day celebration event

Thursday 31st August 2017

Nigel FitzHugh milling at CricklepitGrain being poured into the hopper by Nigel FitzHugh

Cricklepit Mill, near Exeter Quay, is set to open its doors and turn its ancient waterwheel in celebration of Heritage Open Days, the UK’s largest heritage festival.

On Sunday 10 September visitors will be given the opportunity to witness the historic mill in action, as volunteer millers start the waterwheel turning and grind grain into flour.

Serving as Devon Wildlife Trust’s headquarters, Cricklepit Mill is recognised as an important part of the city’s history, with over 800 years of milling heritage and Exeter’s only functioning watermill. 

The Devon Wildlife Trust event will take place on Sunday 10 September, opening at 10.30am and finishing at 3pm. The event is free and visitors can pop in any time throughout the day.

An urban oasis in the heart of the city

Often described as an urban oasis in the heart of the city, Cricklepit Mill’s wildlife garden will also be open to the public and families are invited to enjoy the abundant wildlife, plus family friendly activities on offer. Activities including craft, bug hunting and badge making will also be available.

The event is part of Heritage Open Days festival which offers people the chance to explore historic buildings across the UK, the four-day festival runs from Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 September.

Milling demonstrations will be run by the charity’s expert volunteer millers, who will be on hand to answer questions and show visitors the secrets of milling. Demonstrations will run from 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1 – 3pm. Milling activities are highly dependent on the water levels on that day.

Flour available to buy 

Flour from Cricklepit MillDevon Wildlife Trust’s Rosie Govier said:

“We’re really happy to be part of Heritage Open Days again this year by providing milling demonstrations along with other fun family activities. If you’re someone who’s interested in history, this is a great event at which to find out more about Exeter’s heritage!

“If they are any keen bakers in the area, they can pop along and buy our freshly ground wholemeal flour on the day – straight from the stones!”

Exeter once had many mills in the city that fuelled the economy but Cricklepit Mill is the only watermill that survived and still mills today, making it an integral part of the city’s industrial heritage.

For more information on Heritage Open Days visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk

To find out more about Cricklepit Mill or Devon Wildlife Trust visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org 

Cricklepit Mill’s gardens are open 9am – 5pm weekdays throughout the year and regular free milling days are normally held on the second Friday of every month, check our website to see if an event is being run www.devonwildlifetrust.org/whats-on