Discover Winchester City Mill, a National Trust property and a hidden gem in the heart of the city.
If you’re looking for something to do for an hour the mill shows a complete different side to the city. Make your next visit to Winchester a little bit different.
Winchester was once the capital of the UK, its history is rich, vast and in every street you walk through. It’s one of my favourite cities in Hampshire thanks to its thriving foodie scene, boutique shops and culture.
Winchester City Mill has been recorded in the area since Saxon times. It is thought that it dates back even later than that, putting it over 1000 years old. Potentially it could be the UK’s oldest working watermill.
It’s a great trip for any history lovers. The mill along with the city’s museum, the cathedral and King Arthur’s Round Table are significant parts of Hampshire’s heritage. It also adds a little something extra to a day out in the city too.
Winchester City Mill is also the gateway to the South Downs. The shop the mill is full of guides and ways to fill the rest of your time in or around the area. You’ll see the sign nestled in the foliage to the bottom left of the photo below.
A Working Watermill
Winchester City Mill is still a working watermill so you can go and see them actively milling on certain days.
The mill has an open plan interior which allows you to see exactly how the mill works. It’s a very impressive thing to see and is a very intricate machine. Don’t forget to look up, the equipment and beams fill the high ceiling, and it’s really quite beautiful.
There’s a series of activities, factual displays and videos that explain the processes you can see on display too. The displays help to give some insight into the mill’s history and how the River Itchen is harnessed to grind the flour.
Milling and baking demonstrations tend to be on the weekends. But, it’s worth checking the National Trust website to see the current schedule.
Out the back of the mill is a gorgeous long garden, and I spent some time listening to the river and watching the ducks and trout splash about. It’s like a little haven in the centre of the bustling city.
Underneath the mill you can explore the area the river passes through and under the mill and bridge. It’s so pretty and I don’t think my pictures do it any justice at all.
Otters, water voles and wild trout are regularly spotted from the garden. There’s a video feed set up underneath the mill to capture the otters as they travel from one side of the mill to the other.
You can see the well travelled path they take when you walk down under the mill. We didn’t see any otters during our visit but, we did see plenty of trout. Keep an eye out if you go as apparently the otters are very active.
Winchester City Mill
Despite having lived in the area for over 20 years I didn’t know Winchester City Mill existed. I was surprised to find a fully working mill right in the middle of Winchester. It’s a lovely little diversion and gives a really different perspective on the city.
The mill is not huge and you probably only want to spend a maximum of an hour here. But, a visit to the mill is a nice thing to squeeze around shopping or other sight seeing.
The mill still produces excellent local flour and I bought a bag and made a few loaves from it. A delicious souvenir from my trip!
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- THE IVY WINCHESTER
- BENTO FACTORY – JAPANESE, KOREAN AND VIETNAMESE FOOD IN WINCHESTER
- THE A TO Z OF THINGS TO DO IN HAMPSHIRE
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