Boot corn mill receives revitalising funding

Report and photos by Alan Cleaver

The wheel in action at Eskdale Mill near Boot

The wheel in action at Eskdale Mill near Boot

ESKDALE Mill & Heritage Trust has received funding to help it revitalise the corn mill at Boot.

The mill is a Grade 2* listed building and the last working water mill in the Lake District National Park.

Development funding of £67,000, along with match-funding of £5,000 provided by the Copeland Community Fund, has been awarded to help the Trust progress plans to apply for a full grant next year.

These irreplaceable buildings are now in urgent need of repair, including partial re-roofing and repair of time-damaged walls.

The project will conserve the mill and miller’s cottage, and restore the original machinery to full working order.

As well as building work information about the mill’s long history will be brought up to date, and there will be a programme of activities for visitors and children.

Eskdale Mill, Cumbria

Eskdale Mill, Cumbria

As part of a development plan, a group of volunteers are being recruited and a new resident custodian will be appointed when building work has finished in 2018.

Working locally with the National Trust and the National Park Authority, the Trust will offer guided walks and a wide range of activities for all.

A programme of working with schools will also be an important part of the project, and for the first time, there will be a proper archaeological investigation of the mill.

Paul Pharoah, chair of Eskdale Mill & Heritage Trust said:

The office

“Eskdale mill is a fascinating place which could be at the heart of what the valley has to offer to visitors. Ten years ago, local people did a great job in securing the mill’s future as an attraction open to the public. Now it is time to move on to the next phase of the water mill’s long life, by conserving the buildings and improving presentation of its story. We are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Copeland Community Fund are supporting us to make this possible.”