The Eling Tide Mill has a rich history. It is unknown when the Eling Tide Mill was first built, but it's believed that it may have been as early as Roman times between 200-400AD. The earliest known reference to the mill was in the Domesday book in 1086. It was common for tide mills to be rebuilt every 200-300 years, and the Eling Tide Mill's present building was built over 200 years ago in 1785.
The mill was an important part of the town for 100s of years. It works by harnessing the power of the tide. As the water moves it turns the water wheels, these then power the millstones that grind the wheat into flour. In the past tide mills were a popular way to grind wheat, but with the invention of steam they became far less common.
In 1946 the mill ceased production. Eventually it was bought by the New Forest District Council who decided to combine it with the nearby heritage centre to create the Eling Experience.
The heritage centre, historic mill and tea rooms have been closed to allow restoration and improvement works to be carried out on the entire Eling Experience. This has included refurbishments and extensions.
The Future The Eling Experience and the Eling Tide Mill will reopen in March 2018. Their miller, Matthew Painter, will head up the actual milling with the support of volunteer millers. With refurbished areas the mill will continue to operate as a mill and provide an insight into it's important historical role and other historically significant moments in the history of Eling. With the mill up and running again, it will also mean that the mill's flour will be back for sale. You can stock up your pantry with flour made from the same methods used hundreds of years ago.
For more of an insight into the history of the Eling Tide mill, it's current role, and what is in store for it's future, head along to the Eling Tide Mill: Past Present and Future talk at the Hampshire Record Office. The talk is free and bookings are not required. It will be held on Thursday 22nd February at 1:15pm.
The Hampshire Record Office is located on Sussex Street in Winchester. It is just over 12 miles from the Southampton City Centre.