Milling for a millennium
A mill was recorded here in Little Crakehall in the Domesday Survey of 1086AD. The current mill dates mainly from the 17th century and is an excellent example of a country corn mill. It was once owned by the famed Neville family of Middleham Castle but became Crown Property in the 15th century and was sold by James I in 1624. Please see our Mill Open dates below.
Milling ceased around 1930 and it lay derelict until restoration of the building and machinery was begun by a previous owner in 1977 and it is he who should be credited with saving the mill from being demolished when the Mill and the Mill House were Listed – Grade II. By 1980, the labour of love was complete and it began to grind corn again. The mill closed 2002-10, re-opening after extensive repairs & continues today.
Visits to this working mill are possible. Generally we are happy to show interested guests where time permits and pre-booked groups (min 8 people) around the mill. Alternatively do join us on one of our Open Days, generally the 1st Sunday of the month between April and October. Please be aware that due to the structure and layout of this historic building there are a number of steps and uneven surfaces.
Update 8 March 2021. We plan to restart our Open Days, generally the 1st Sunday of the month April to Oct inc, on Sunday 4 July 2021 subject to Govnt Covid regulations at the time. Please do check back for any further updates as we get nearer that date.
Sunday 4 July 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 1 August 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 5 September 12.00 – 16.00
Sunday 3 October 12.00 – 16.00
For more information about the mill, the flour it produces and where to buy it, please take a look at Our Flour page.
The mill harnesses the river’s natural energy to grind wheat and spelt wheat, grown just a few miles away when supplies are available, and produce Crakehall Watermill 100% Stoneground Wholemeal Flour ‘Crakehall’s Finest’ that is perfect for bread making.
The 2010 repair work was filmed by award-winning production company Keo Films, responsible for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage series, and were shown in a major BBC TV series The Big Bread Experiment. Crakehall Watermill became a star of the series when first shown on BBC2 in December 2011 and again in 2014. The programmes followed the establishment of Bedale Community Bakery – ‘Bread … Actually’ – in Bedale, which became the newly-reopened Crakehall Watermill’s first customer. Matt Baker and the Countryfile team also visited for a July 2011 broadcast.