UK’s last two working tide mills collaborate

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Teams from the two remaining working tide mills in Britain, Eling Tide Mill and Woodbridge Tide Mill in Suffolk met recently in Woodbridge to share their knowledge.

The Eling Experience, which encompasses the 18th century tide mill and a visitor centre is about to undergo a £1.3million Heritage Lottery Fund supported restoration and refurbishment. The tide mill at Woodbridge in Suffolk was also recently restored thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. A small team from the New Forest historic attraction travelled to Woodbridge to share best practice and gather information on the refurbishment, day to day running and significance of their respective mills.

Despite the similarity of their mill workings, Woodbridge and Eling tide mills differ significantly in structure: Woodbridge has white wooden cladding while Eling is of red brick construction. What the two mills share is their importance as heritage sites. Woodbridge Tide Mill was the last commercial working tide mill in England when it closed in 1957. The current mill is 220 years old and is Grade I listed, but there has been a flour mill on this site since in the 12th century. Eling’s tide mill dates from c. 1785 and has Grade II* listed status. It is believed that there has been milling at Eling for almost 900 years.

Helen Robinson, Eling Experience Manager said:

‘It was so good to meet the team at Woodbridge who have created a really engaging visitor attraction in their wonderful historic mill. We learnt a lot from our visit and we’re excited to be able to use it to help shape the visitor experience at Eling when we reopen in Summer 2016.”

The team from Eling look forward to reciprocating the visit following completion of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported project.

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