A Millers Tale from Woodbridge in Suffolk

A Millers Tale from Woodbridge in Suffolk, Woodbridge, England (B)

I could feel goose bumps on my arms as the huge wooden axles began to turn and the large wooden wheels began to revolve. The Tide Mill in Woodbridge, Suffolk was milling flour as it has done for centuries. There has been a corn mill here since at least 1170. It uses the water from the tidal River Deben to grind flour between its huge mill stones, hence the name tide mill. As the tide comes in water enters the mill pond adjacent to the mill and is trapped there when the tide goes out. When the sluice gates are opened the power generated by the water rushing through them generates the energy to run the mill. When the mill ceased to operate as a commercial enterprise it was given to the town council by its last owner. The original mill pond was sold and is now a marina for yachts. A new and much smaller mill pond is now in use. A time-line inside the mill relates its history. 

The whole operation takes place on the three floors of the old mill and I raced up and down the narrow wooden staircases after Dan, the ‘miller’. Dan is one of the wardens who runs the mill and that morning he was assisted by David Malpass and Mary Shuttleworth. The latter two are volunteers and the mill relies on people like them to keep it running. They made me very welcome and I felt honoured to be there and to watch the whole process. I was able to climb in amongst the machinery and also to feel the texture of the finely ground powder (after washing my hands) which is soft and cold. Too fine and the stones will grind to a halt. A phrase that is commonly used in many other contexts. A small working model in the museum demonstrates the flow of water and information boards explain the components of the mill and the job they do. It truly is a ‘living’ museum. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Guide Name: A Millers Tale from Woodbridge in Suffolk
Guide Location: England » Woodbridge
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Valery Collins
Read it on Author's Website: https://experiencedtraveller.com/journal/2017-11-12-a-millers-tale-from-woodbridge-in-suffolk
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tide Mill
  • Cake Shop
  • Honey + Harvey
  • Sutton Hoo
  • Tea Hut
  • Woodbridge Town Museum
  • church of Saint Mary
  • Saint John’s Parish Church
  • Wild Strawberry Cafe
  • Ye Olde Bell and Steelyard Pub
  • The Crown