Charity to hold celebration of ancient mill heritage

Tuesday 1st May 2018

National Mills Weekend eventPeople at National Mills Weekend

Devon Wildlife Trust is offering people the chance to explore Exeter’s last working watermill at the charity’s annual National Mills Weekend event.

On Saturday 12 May visitors can watch the historic mill in action, as volunteer millers start the water wheel turning and grind grain into flour.

Cricklepit Mill, based near Exeter Quay, serves as Devon Wildlife Trust’s headquarters and 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 event will take place on Saturday 12 May, starting at 11am and finishing at 3pm.

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 family friendly to enjoy. Activities including craft and bug hunting will be available throughout the day.

National Mills Weekend

The event is part of National Mills Weekend which provides people with the opportunity to explore their local water and wind mills, and allows the public to learn more about this important part of the countries heritage.

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 11am – 12.30pm and 1 – 3pm. Milling activities are highly dependent on the water levels on that day.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Rosie Govier said:

“It’s great to be part of National Mills Weekend again – especially seeing as this year the theme is ‘mills and wildlife’! If you’re someone who’s interested in history, this is a great event at which to find out more about Exeter’s heritage!”

Milling volunteer, Nigel FitzHugh said:

“I love having the ability to harness natural forces to carry out a necessary task; to feel that I am working inside this very old, but very simple machine and I can feel, see and hear it rumbling away doing a job it has done for hundreds of years. Our Open Days enable visitors to have this experience as well as learning how flour is made.”

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.
National Mills Weekend is coordinated by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

For more information 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 milling days are held on the second Friday of every month.