The Mill Barns
17th Century Water Mill
The Mill Barns Wedding Venue sits on the site of a former 17th century water mill. The water mill first appears in records dating back to 1635 when Francis Baskerville gave his sister Margaret Pountney his remaining lease of a half share in the corn mill, then called the New Mill.
What was the New Mill?
We know that in 1770 New Mill was a small square building with 1 wheel, 2 sets of stones and that by this time the miller had built himself a small house by the mill pond.
By 1864 an estimate for repairs to the mill mentions a stable, cow house, barn and pigsty with further expansion carried out prior to 1900 when the industrious owner Robert Clarke, not only operated the mill but ran a bakery; selling his bread and flour from an onsite shop.
Fondue and Sandwiches
The mill remained largely intact right through to the 1967 when it was converted into a hotel. Many of the original features of the water mill were preserved and guests at the hotel were able to view the waterwheel which was displayed behind a pane of glass. There’s a fabulous 1970’s flyer advertising ‘Fondue and Sandwiches in the Millstone Bar’ which was built up using the mill’s original grinding stones.
The hotel had 41 bedrooms and a number of function suites; The Waterside Restaurant was very popular and the hotel operated successfully for many years.
A Terrible Fire
The hotel closed in September 2014 and was empty when it was razed to the ground by a major fire in May 2015. Over 80 fire fighters attended the scene and fire crews were still onsite 4 days later dampening down ‘hotspots’, such was the intensity of the blaze.
The fire ravaged through the entire hotel, all but one of the structures was completely destroyed by the fire. We had hoped to recover the cast iron mill wheel from the ashes and display it within The Mill Barns Wedding Venue; sadly the prolonged and intense heat from the fire had made the wheel brittle and it disintegrated as we attempted to salvage it.
New Lease of Life
Following its destruction in the fire, the former Mill Hotel site was successfully purchased at auction on the 14th July 2015 by Ensarb Limited, the husband and wife team behind The Ashes Barns Wedding Venue and Pendrell Hall Country House Wedding Venue.
With two successful wedding venues under their belt, Ben and Sarah had a clear vision for this beautiful site.
“We knew right from the start that we wanted to design something truly spectacular; a barn wedding venue like no other, offering couples a unique waterfront setting, the rustic charm of traditional oak-framed barns and plenty of luxury accommodation onsite.”