Stotfold Watermill reopens with new exhibition and a secret to discover

Stotfold Watermill and Nature Reserve
Stotfold Watermill and Nature Reserve

The secret behind the huge chimney at Stotfold Watermill can be discovered when the site reopens at the weekend.

The working watermill and nature reserve will be open at 12.30pm on Sunday, March 20, after its winter rest.

Stotfold Watermill

Stotfold Watermill

A spokeswoman for the mill said: “Visitors often ask why a working watermill, fed by the force of the River Ivel, has such a huge chimney.

“Thanks to the mill’s archive team, through the Stotfold and Steam Exhibition, visitors can discover the secret of the 65 foot high structure.”

The exhibition will also feature photographs and models of the internationally-famous Saunders’ Steam Collection. Since the first fundraising to restore the fire-ravaged mill, the Saunders’ collection has been a major attraction at the two big fundraising weekends - the Steam Fair and Country Show in May and the Working Steam Weekend in October.

The intricate models may especially interest younger visitors.

This year has a special focus on activities for children, who can follow Milly Mouse’s Trail and win a prize, count the mice and rats arrayed around the building or solve the mystery photo trail. Visitors can also enjoy spring in the adjoining nature reserve, full of water birds and nesting activity.

The milling team will be grinding the quality stone-ground flour, which is on sale in the Kingfisher Gift Shop, together with oats and bran. Locally-sourced arts, crafts and produce are also available, with a distinctive new shop front and an exciting range of new products.

Randalls Tea Room will be open, offering a wonderful array of refreshments, especially the popular cakes and cream teas.

Trained guides will help visitors to get the most out of their afternoon at the mill.

The mill is a charity, run entirely by volunteers. All funds raised go to its upkeep and to help maintain the adjoining nature reserve.

Full details can be found on the mill website at www.stotfoldmill.com