Our visit to Cotehele also included the Cotehele Mill, which is considered a separate property with its own reception (and entry fee). It is less than a kilometre from the house, up the valley of a Tamar tributary, and although we took the shuttle bus down from the house, we then walked back to the quay, which was a very pleasant stroll through the trees alongside the millstream.
I specifically chose a Thursday for the Cotehele visit as the Mill is working on Thursdays and Sundays. Having already seen several mills on this challenge and read a lot of information boards about the processes involved, I decided it would be a better experience if I could see one in action for a change. It was certainly good to see the wheel turning and the millstones grinding, and even better to find that the Bakery was also being used and that there were samples of biscuit, cake and flapjack on offer to visitors! So, thanks to the volunteer who spent her day slaving over a hot oven and treating the mill visitors as they passed through.
In the upper rooms of the mill, there is a video for visitors to watch and information about the Langsford family, several generations of whom milled here from the 1870s until it was restored by the National Trust and opened to the public in 1973. It was restored again in 2001 and still produces flour for the Cotehele restaurant as well as for commercial sale (and for the baker downstairs to feed the visitors!)
While we were there, a grain delivery arrived and this made our walk up the stairs at the side of the mill a little more interesting. There is now an upper floor on the mill that is level with the road so the grain is transferred from a van across a wooden walkway and into the mill. Unfortunately, this wooden walkway is not completely sealed so unsuspecting visitors (like us) may find themselves getting ‘grained on’ as they walk up the stairs. It was only a short shower, though, so umbrellas were not required!
Milling and baking are not the only artisanal pursuits on display at Cotehele as some of the outbuildings are also home to workshops with displays about agricultural craftsmen, such as Saddlers, Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights. Another couple of workshops are also occupied by local artists, including a Potter and a Woodworker. What with the Miller and Baker on hand as well, Cotehele Mill should definitely think about creating its own Happy Families card game!
Highlights: Bakery samples!; Working wheel
Purchase(s): Gift for upcoming birthday
NT Connections: Cotehele (obviously!)