Worsbrough Mill is a working mill producing a range of premium quality organic flours and associated products for trade and retail customers using waterpower from the River Dove. The 60-acre reservoir is a haven for wildlife and regularly attracts birdwatchers and anglers.
At present milling time is limited due to sizeable civil engineering works on the reservoir from which we get most of our water for milling. These engineering works mean that our water supply will be severely limited until the autumn and so we have taken the decision to pause commercial production for the duration of the works.
We are hoping to use this enforced downtime to carry out a programme of maintenance and cleaning in the mill. The mill will remain open as usual as we undertake this work so please feel to drop in to see how we’re getting on.
History – Worsbrough Mill
The first record of a mill at Worsbrough was in the Domesday book of 1086, although the exact location of the mill along the River Dove is unknown. The oldest part of the mill standing today dates from about 1625 and forms the two storey stone building known as the Old Mill, which houses the waterwheel. Before the Mill House was built in the mid 18th century the miller and his family would have lived in the mill itself. There are large fireplaces on both the ground and first floors and the lintel over the fireplace on the first floor is inscribed with several dates and initials of the millers.
The Old Mill was probably modernised in the early 1820’s to improve its output, and in the 1840’s the New Mill was built next door. The machinery in the New Mill was powered by a steam engine and a third floor, where grain could be stored in bulk, was added.
Trade for corn and flour began to drop off towards the end of the 19th century as cheap imported wheat came in from abroad. By the early 20th century Worsbrough’s New Mill became disused and the steam engine was scrapped. The old water mill continued to grind corn and oats for the local farmers to feed their animals well into the 1960’s.
In 1972 West Riding County Council began to restore the mill as a working museum. The steam engine had been scrapped in 1922 so a rare 1911 Hornsby hot-bulb oil engine, formerly from Sykehouse Windmill was rebuilt in the engine room.
A reorganisation in local government in 1974 meant that South Yorkshire County Council took over the project. The museum opened to the general public in 1976. It is now owned and operated by Barnsley Council.