Appeal to help restore thousand-year old watermill’s wheel

Cogglesford Mill EMN-190128-122851001
Cogglesford Mill EMN-190128-122851001

An appeal is being made to help to restore an historic watermill near Sleaford - which has been turning for a thousand years.

Cogglesford Watermill is thought to be the only Sherriff’s Watermill still in operation in England - an a regular draw for visitors to the Sleaford area.

No Caption ABCDE EMN-190128-123057001

No Caption ABCDE EMN-190128-123057001

But with so many years taking their toll on the mill’s working mechanisms - one of the wooden wheels is now in need of urgent repair.

Several wooden paddles on the milling wheel have become brittle and broken - and someone with the right carpentry skills is now being sought.

The mill was rescued from collapse in 1991 by North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) and restored to full working order.

Jeffery Kenyon, principal economic development officer at NKDC said: “We are currently looking for someone with experience to help repair the milling wheel at Cogglesford Watermill. We want to keep its heritage alive and give the wheel a new lease of life.

Millwrights in the area appear few and far between so we are seeking someone experienced in this type of joinery, or a retired millwright who has the skills to pass on and help repair the damage.”

The mill plays a huge part in the visitor economy for Sleaford - having attracted 9,246 visitors last year alone.

From the Mill, visitors can walk along the River Slea and past local nature reserves Lollycocks field and the Nettles, leading to Sleaford Leisure Centre, the National Centre for Craft and Design, Navigation House (also a Visitor Centre, with strong links to Cogglesford Watermill as the Canal Office from where goods would be transported along the River Slea) and into Sleaford Town Centre. It offers visitors a day out or weekend visit with plenty to do.

Milling days are every second Sunday of the month, from March to December, and throughout the year the Mill likes to offer family activities to get all ages together to learn more about the local heritage.

This year, there will be an event at the mill to celebrate Real Bread Week, Discover Lincolnshire Weekend, National Mills Weekend, Heritage Open Days, Harvest Festival as well as offering fun family trails throughout Easter, Summer and Christmas half terms.

The Mill is open daily from April 1.

A spokesman for NKDC added: “The volunteers who help run the attraction are extremely passionate about its history, and together with NKDC are working towards museum accreditation.”

If you can help, or for more details, call Jeffery Kenyon on 01529 414155.