Wednesday, 12 June 2013


A couple of months ago I wrote on one of my other sites about an afternoon in which I visited two Cambridgeshire watermills.

Last week I spent a couple of hours at another restored watermill, this time in Cumbria.

The National Trust property at Acorn Bank near Temple Sowerby (just off the main A66 east-west trunk road, in the Eden Valley and up against the edge of the North Pennines) is interesting for a variety of reasons. It is not one of the most elaborate of Trust properties but it has:

  • a beautiful walled garden;
  • one of the best herb gardens I've seen anywhere;
  • some remains of historic local gypsum mining;
  • wonderful woodland walks;
  • a recently restored watermill.

I'll write more about most of these eventually, but for now here's a photo I took at the mill.

It's a pity is wasn't turning while I was there, but it does work, and flour is being produced once again for sale in the little shop at the big house, seen below from across the nearby fields.

That's all for today. I did do a bit of exploring around the far reaches of the estate to see what was visible of the old gypsum mine, but there's not a lot visible at present are visitors are not encouraged to explore the woodland away from the paths. But I'll be back again as mining for lead, silver, gypsum, anhydrite and other important minerals is an important part of the past several centuries of the history of the Eden Valley and the Lake District. Did you know that many of the Lake District's mountains are penetrated by ancient miners' tunnels? It wasn't always preserved as a tourist's paradise. People had to earn the livelihoods in difficult terrain, and the combination of farming and mining was widespread around this region.

No comments:

Post a Comment