The wheels of Stretton Watermill are rumbling again to make stone-ground flour as they have for centuries past.
When something goes wrong with the ancient machinery, there is no instruction manual. A repair requires an inventive and resourceful approach. With the expert guidance of millwright,
Geoff Wallace, the millers have installed new wheel wedges, cleared sludge, 'puddled' holes with marl clay and re-sealed the sluice boxes with an ingenious combination of leather and bicycle inner tube.
The millers bring their own enthusiasm and personal interests to the maintenance of this 14th century building to make sure that visitors have a fantastic tailored tour and leave feeling excited and inspired.
Throughout the tour, they point out the key dates on the timbers, stonework and show photographs which demonstrate the contribution the mill has made to the community for 700 years.
This weekend (23 and 24 July)The Watermill celebrates the Ages of Stretton with music, milling and rural crafts. Come and try your hand at wattle and daub, rag-rugging or country herbalism and see how many dates you can see in and around the mill.
Stretton Watermill is a little-known gem in the Council portfolio of heritage buildings. It is a beautiful spot looked after by a team of dedicated millers who have worked really hard to get the mill up and running again with sensitivity and ingenuity.
The Ages of Stretton is a very fitting celebration of the completion of the repairs. Why not take a picnic and spend the day visiting the mill and exploring the surrounding area.
The Ages of Stretton is free of charge and will be open from 12.00 — 5pm on the 23 and 24 July.
Mill tours will run throughout the afternoon for £3 per adult (children £1.50)
Stretton Watermill is open from May to August: Tuesday to Sunday (and Bank Holiday Mondays), 1pm — 5pm and in September: Weekends only, 1pm — 5pm
Stretton mill is just 10 miles away from Chester: turn off at the Cock O'Barton pub and follow the brown tourism signs. The mill is located on Mill Lane and can be accessed by bus from Chester to Stretton with a short walk down Mill Lane.
Schools and groups can visit Stretton by booking at Weaver Hall Museum 01606 271640.
Visit the website to see what else is happening in West Cheshire Museums www.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk