Watermill set to open for a special weekend

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In celebration of the National Mills Weekend, the National Trust’s Stainsby Mill will be open to visitors from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th May.

Visitors to Stainsby Mill will get the chance to experience the sights and sounds of a working flour mill by joining regular tours around the mill where a team of volunteers will bring the mill to life.

The current Stainsby Mill was rebuilt in 1850 by the 6th Duke of Devonshire, but there is a long history of milling on the same site dating back to c1216. The mill, and surrounding villages, were bought by Bess of Hardwick in 1590 and has been part of the historic Hardwick estate ever since.

Stainsby Mill is a world of water and wheels to explore and visitors can see how the curious cogs and machinery of this magical place work.

Volunteers are on hand to tell visitors more about Stainsby’s past and present millers; try your hand at grinding your own flour on the hand quern and buy bags of freshly milled Stainsby flour in the mill shop.

National Mills Weekend is the annual festival of the UK’s milling heritage, and the chance for everyone to explore their local windmills and watermills. The weekend is coordinated by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. This year National Mills Weekend is celebrating ‘Mills in Art’, and is calling on budding artists of all ages to get inspired by mills. Visitors to Stainsby Mill will be encouraged to have a go themselves by contributing to their ‘Art Mural’. After the event, the mural will be on display in the south gazebo in the gardens nearby at Hardwick Hall.

Mill visitors are also encouraged to enter the SPAB Mills Section’s ‘Mills in Art’ competition. Artworks in any medium are eligible, and prizes include free membership of the SPAB Mills Section and books on windmills and watermills. To enter, artworks should be sent by 31st May with a completed entry form, available with further details on the National Mills Weekend website (www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk).