The Tide Mill, Woodbridge, one of only a handful in the world still producing flour on a regular basis and among the first tide mills in the country, working on the same site for over 850 years.
You can book online for a weekend visit and experience history through visual insights, unique computer generated imagery and children’s activities to discover how the grain and flour move around the Mill. Most days you can even see the huge oak water wheel turning.
The mill is a Grade I listed building. It is a three-storey building constructed from wood; externally it is clad in white Suffolk boarding and has a Gambrel roof. Its machinery reflects the skills and achievements of the early Industrial Revolution. It has been preserved and is open to the public.
In 1957 it closed as the last commercially operating tide mill in Britain. In 1968 the derelict mill was purchased by Mrs Jean Gardner and a restoration programme was launched. It was opened to the public five years later in 1973. It is now managed by a charitable trust (Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust) staffed by volunteers, and in 2011 the trust undertook a further and more complete restoration and modernisation project, including a new water wheel and fully restored machinery, which allowed milling to begin again. It re-opened in 2012 and is now one of only two tide mills in the UK that regularly grinds wheat grain producing wholemeal flour for resale.
The Mill is dependent on the tides and heights of the tide, but the machinery can turn most days although at different times. Milling can only take place when both aspects of the tides are right, but usually several times a month. The millers are only too happy to talk to visitors and explain what they are doing. Operating and milling times are advertised on the website and seeing it operate is a rare and fascinating experience, so should be experienced.
The Tide Mill is one of Suffolk’s most iconic buildings and is an essential part of any visit to Woodbridge.