Sacrewell gets royal approval for £1.8 million restored mill

Duke of Gloucester's visit to officially open Sacrewell Mill. He is accompanied by Jane Harrison (Mills project officer) EMN-150110-171202009
Duke of Gloucester's visit to officially open Sacrewell Mill. He is accompanied by Jane Harrison (Mills project officer) EMN-150110-171202009

The royal seal of approval was given to the restoration of Sacrewell Mill following a visit by the Duke of Gloucester, cousin to the Queen.

Prince Richard took a look around the 18th century Grade II* listed building at Sacrewell near Wansford on a visit last Thursday.

His Royal Highness was there to see the restored mill which opened in July following a £1.8m project to return it to its original glory.

And his visit came just a couple of days before Sacrewell beat its record number of visitors for a single year with three months still to come.

The Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre had welcomed 91,944 visitors by the start of this week, just short of its target of 92,000 for the whole of 2015.

The duke enjoyed a tour of the mill and a quick look around the farm during his visit, as well as stopping off for some tea and cake.

He also unveiled a plaque at the café to commend the mill’s re-opening and made a speech, while in return he was presented with an artwork of the new-look mill.

The duke was joined on his visit by trustees from the William Scott Abbot Trust, which owns Sacrewell, local dignitaries, companies involved in the project, children from Ravensthorpe Primary School and Sacrewell staff and members.

Megan Allen, PR executive at Sacrewell, said: “We were delighted that he accepted our invitation to commend the mill. It was a lovely day and the weather was gorgeous.

“He has visited Sacrewell in the past and said it was lovely to come back. He highlighted how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful area and how important it is to educate people about agriculture and farming.”

The restoration of the mill was made possible thanks to a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which included the installation of a £40,000 waterwheel, incorporating a hydroelectric generator, as well as the restoration of the 18th century watermill.

And according to Megan the works have been worth every penny.

She added: “The feedback has been wonderful. We have already filled out two-and-a-half visitors’ books in comments and none have been negative.

“Visitors of all ages have taken something from it. A lot of people who did not realise the mill was here have enjoyed it as well as the people who knew about it.

“Everyone has just loved it and we are really, really pleased.”