Restoring the past to create a future
Join the team at Howsham Mill for a variety of Half Term Activities.
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd Feb- "Making bread through the Ages". This is a chance for young and old to explore the history of bread making from its early origins up-to the industrialisation of Corn Mills. There will be multiple activities for people to participate in - even making your own bread! 11-4pm each day.
Each days sessions will be as…Continue
Posted by Jennifer Wakefield on February 19, 2014 at 11:29
Posted by Jennifer Wakefield on January 11, 2014 at 19:30
Fingers crossed we should be dropping the external scaffold by the end of next week (17th/18th April). Just waiting on glass for the upper dormer window units. All upper level stonework is complete, hope to start the external cobbled footpaths next week.Oak staircase going in this week,oak flooring will be finished next week.
It's been a long and frustrating project not to mention WET but we have enjoyed the journey and hope you all like the end product.
Stephen Pickering (main…Continue
Can it be possible that a whole year has passed by since the last newsletter? I fear it can, and my huge apologies for this - all I can say is that it has been a very busy year!
This newsletter will give you an update on the progress of building works at the mill, and introduce you to our brand new shiny Education and Events Officer, Liz Vowles, who has been taken on to whip us into shape. Her remit is to create and deliver a really interesting and exciting programme of events at…Continue
Posted by Mo MacLeod on October 12, 2012 at 12:18
The waterwheel suddenly stopped working last night which was caused by the failure of the historic cast iron shaft that transfers the power to the gearbox. This is a serious blow and will not be easy to repair so the wheel will be off for a while. We are investigating solutions to the problem at the moment, but cannot unfortunately make the best use of all this rain at the moment.
Posted by David Mann on June 12, 2012 at 22:30
The Howsham Mill Project - funded by
On a tiny island in the River Derwent at Howsham, North Yorkshire, stands a Georgian watermill. Howsham Mill dates back to c.1755 and is attributed to John Carr of York, more famous for designing Fairfax House in York, and an extension to Castle Howard stables. In 1965, a Royal Commission for Historic Monuments inspector, James Williams, described the Mill as "...a building of the maximum historical interest as a very early example of gothic Revival style…" and "...of great architectural interest as it is a very rare example of the gothic Revival style as applied to a functional building. (I cannot find reference to a similar example, eg watermill)…".
Sadly, despite its Grade II listing, years of vandalism and neglect have taken their toll and the Howsham Mill Project now aims to rescue the building before it becomes irreparable.
The project is threefold:
1. Restoration of the Mill building as far as possible back to its original state externally, for use as an environmental study centre promoting renewable energy and local history and wildlife. It will also be available for use as a community venue for local people.
2. The reinstatement of the waterwheel will again harness the power of the river, but rather than driving millstones, this time will generate electricity.
It is the Trust’s aim to make the building totally self-sustaining for the 21st century using revenue from power sales to fund future restoration and conservation work at the site.
3. Preservation of the existing natural environment including protection of peripheral cover for otter. Development of a management plan which will allow increased public access to, and ensure the future maintenance of this unspoilt area of woodland.
All of this we believe can be achieved with the absolute minimum of visual and physical impact on the existing environment. It is in no way the Trust’s intention to encourage large numbers of tourists to descend on such a peaceful part of the country – rather to provide improved access and facilities for local people whilst making a small contribution towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, using technology from the past to create ‘cleaner’ energy for the future.
Within the Mill’s walls, we hope to house a permanent exhibition about renewable energy and its importance for the twenty-first century along side conservation information relating to the Site of Special Scientific Interest in which the Mill stands.
The location of the Mill would also lend itself perfectly to being a wild-life hide.
The resource centre would cater only for pre-arranged limited-number groups from schools and other interested bodies who would be dropped off at Howsham Bridge and then walk the short distance to the island via the existing public footpath. Local people would also be encouraged to use the space as a Community Centre for meetings and functions.
Clearly none of this will be undertaken without full ecological surveys being carried out, and permissions granted from all relevant authorities.
The Renewable Heritage Trust is a registered charity, and is currently fundraising to meet the costs of this restoration.
In order to keep these costs as low as possible, we hope to find volunteers to help but obviously there will be aspects which require professional assistance.
If you feel you have any relevant skills, ideas for fundraising or just the enthusiasm to help us rescue this glorious building, we would love to hear from you!
The Renewable Heritage Trust
York YO60 7JS
01653 619712 or 07880 341914