Having enjoyed my visit to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, I started investigating possible day-time venues between my night-time assignments. A long-time National Trust member who didn’t really make use of it all those years, I went to their website to find out what was open during the winter week-days. On the journey from Gloucester to Birmingham I found Knowles Mill.
It is the last recognisable corn mill in the Wyre Forest, water powered, but not directly by the brook that passes it. Rather, a dam was built across the brook to form a mill-pond alongside it which fed the channel of water turning the wheel.
Water is guided down a channel, increasing its speed
The water falls down the channel and onto the water wheel, although now only the metal centre is left and the wooden part which was driven by the water has now rotted away.
The wheel drives the mechanisms inside the building where wheat was ground to flour.
The National Trust has kindly provided a diagram of how the mill worked when it was fully operational
Getting to the mill was simple enough, along a lightly travelled ‘road’ through the Wyre Forest. I was grateful that the only time I encountered traffic was at a point where I could pull into a Y-turn-off, otherwise someone would have had to do quite a bit of reversing.
I’m pleased to have had the time to visit the mill, we often forget how much heritage is lost through neglect and the National Trust does a great job in preserving examples of the achievements of previous residents of England!
- The Railway Child (traveltalesbytash.wordpress.com)