National Mills Weekend will be celebrated for a single weekend in May. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Mills Section will be organising this special annual event that will allow you to explore our milling heritage and visit lots of mills that are not usually open to the public.
As part of their remit the SPAB Mills Section also work to protect our traditional wind and water mills from demolition and damage, as well as campaigning for their return to working order. These buildings are an important part of our national heritage and you can do your bit to help by making a donation to the charity, or you could become a member.
Over the weekend you will be able to visit windmills and watermills producing a variety of goods from flour and paper to gunpowder! Yes, that’s right! Chart gunpowder mills, Faversham dates from around 1760 and it was the oldest of Faversham’s three gunpowder factories.
You will also have the opportunity to buy some of the produce on the day (well, with the exception of the gunpowder perhaps). What’s more with the growing trend in home baking I can’t think of anything better than purchasing a bag of freshly milled flour with all the goodness kept in – perfect for your homemade bread and cakes. And, speaking of bread, National Mills Weekend ties in very nicely with Real Bread Maker Week, which runs from 14-22 May 2016.
Windmills and watermills have such a gentle and serene feel about them. They give you a sense of calm as you stand and watch the sails go by, or hear the water tumbling through the waterwheel. In my part of the world there are very few ancient windmills (but there are lots of wind turbines!), but I always remember the soothing sound of the sails from the windmill in Trumpton. If you need a reminder check out this YouTube video by clicking here.
To find out about future SPAB activities and special events taking place for families, keep checking their website, or Facebook page and keep up to date with all the latest on what’s happening this May.