Woodbridge Tide Mill – Maintaining an Icon

Woodbridge Tide Mill – Maintaining an Icon

The Tide Mill Living Museum in Woodbridge is probably one of the most photographed historical buildings in Suffolk. The present Mill is 200 years old and is the third on the site since 1170. Along with displays documenting the fascinating history, the huge oak waterwheel and traditional grindstones can still be seen in action inside this iconic and much-loved landmark.

The beautiful working tide mill, one of only two in the country, opens to visitors on Friday 29th March. It is intertwined in Woodbridge’s rich history and offers inspiration to the many artists and photographers that reside in and visit the town.

Woodbridge Tide Mill is at the heart of Woodbridge, prominently featuring in the annual Regatta (June), Maritime Woodbridge festival and the Shuck Festival (October). It’s also acts as a dramatic backdrop for the Spirit of Beowulf Festival in May.

John Carrington, Chairman of the Tide Mill Trust, explains: “Most people don’t realise that you can go inside the Tide Mill and see it working. It is a bona fide museum with excellent displays and live milling demos where visitors can help to grind their own flour under the guidance of our charismatic Head Miller, Dan Tarrant-Willis.”

Many are surprised to learn The Tide Mill Living Museum is a registered charity, relying on entry fees of individual visitors, school trips and group visits as well as flour and merchandise sales to maintain and regularly restore its historical infrastructure. It also depends upon donations and grants and the enthusiasm and hard work of its volunteers – many with very specialist skills that are scarcely available these days.

Mr Carrington continues: “Despite an all-round feeling of local pride in this beautiful and tangible part of Woodbridge’s history – and the Mill’s ‘must-see’ status on the itineraries of visitors from further afield – many locals have not yet visited The Tide Mill Living Museum. It’s our aim to encourage more people to visit the Mill and to find new ways that the people of Suffolk can become involved with and support this important building, with their time, donations and/or expertise.”

The Mill costs around £5,000 a month to run and, in addition, needs to build up a reserve to pay for the regular renovations and repairs that a wooden structure next to a salt water river that’s prone to flooding needs.

Here are eight ways people can support Woodbridge Tide Mill: –

  • Visit the Tide Mill and bring friends and family
  • Volunteer and learn our history to show people around, or help at our shop or, if you have a practical bent, assist with maintenance
  • Consider Tide Mill mugs, aprons and other merchandise for use as gifts
  • If you or your business need a small, out of the ordinary venue for meetings contact  [email protected] If you have children at school suggest to the appropriate teacher that we are open for school visits. Ask them to contact [email protected] to arrange.
  • Finally, if you enjoy your visit, be sure to leave a positive Facebook or TripAdviser review to encourage others to visit.

For further information visit the Tide Mill Living Museum website 

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