Our favourite water mill? Well, the one we live in, of course!
Our series of talks aimed at helping people through the lockdown winter has been wrapped up in delightful fashion by Petra Ward with her presentation My Favourite Water Mill.
Petra, a long-standing member and trustee of CPRE Essex, gave her talk on Wednesday last week (Wednesday, March 10) ably assisted by husband Richard.
The secret as to the couple’s favourite mill was not kept from the 42-strong audience for long, though. Over to Petra… “We live in the mill house and by strange coincidence this is indeed our favourite mill.”
And that, dear readers, is Coggeshall Abbey Mill, today the only working water mill on the Rivers Blackwater and Pant but formerly one of at least 20 using their water to turn the wheels.
While the first mill on the site was built for the Cistercian abbey in the 12th century, the building we see and admire now is the latest to have been built there and was designed as a factory for the woollen-cloth industry in about 1760. From 1840, however, it has operated as a corn mill.
Petra and Richard shared much of the mill’s fascinating history and gave us a virtual tour of the mill in explaining how it works today… and yes, they mill English grain about four times a year… the resulting bread, we can be assured, is delightful!