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Woodbridge’s historic Tide Mill set to mark 850 years

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 March 2020

The Tide Mill museum in Woodbridge Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Tide Mill museum in Woodbridge Picture: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

One of the most historic buildings in Suffolk is preparing to mark a huge anniversary this year.

The Tide Mill at Woodbridge in 1984  Picture: ARCHANTThe Tide Mill at Woodbridge in 1984 Picture: ARCHANT

The Woodbridge Tide Mill has formed part of the town's riverside since 1170, when it was owned by Augustinian Priors.

Through the years, the Tide Mill has overcome a number of challenges.

In 1957, it was the final working commercial mill to close its doors and was almost lost for good - until it was purchased at the last minute by Jean Gardener in 1968.

These days the building, which is in its third incarnation since the original 12th century site, has been restored on a number of occasions and is now run by a charitable trust.

The mill in a derelict state Picture: TIDE MILL ARCHIVEThe mill in a derelict state Picture: TIDE MILL ARCHIVE

The trust works to preserve the site, as well inform tourists and schoolchildren about its important role in the town's history.

As well as being used as an educational tool, The Tide Mill is now one of only two working mills in the UK.

It continues to produce flour, which is sold locally to shops and is also used by businesses within the town.

To mark the mammoth anniversary, the mill is preparing to celebrate with a number of events over the year.

Among these will be a special exhibition about Mrs Gardener and the philanthropy that saved the mill.

As well as hosting events, the mill is also undergoing a revamp to help mark the anniversary - with redecoration set to take place externally in the next few months.

The Woodbridge Tide Mill Charitable Trust is excited about what is next for the historic building at it looks towards the future.

The Tide Mill Living Museum is governed by the tides of the River Deben in Woodbridge. Picture: GEMMA JARVISThe Tide Mill Living Museum is governed by the tides of the River Deben in Woodbridge. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS

'Woodbridge Tide Mill is an iconic window to our past,' said chairman of the trust John Carrington.

'It is also an easily accessible example of renewable energy.

'Both the mill's history and its use of sustainable energy form an important part of its educational role, providing visiting schools with a unique experience and an opportunity to learn about tidal energy.

'The mill is also exploring the sensitive installation of a micro generator to be driven by the flow from the millpond.

The Tide Mill in Woodbridgel Picture: TIDE MILL ARCHIVEThe Tide Mill in Woodbridgel Picture: TIDE MILL ARCHIVE

'This will provide a powerful connection to our history, and a more sustainable future for the mill.'

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