Bishop's Lydeard Mill
Somerset TA4 3LN
The Mill and Rural Life Museum at Bishop's Lydyard near Taunton in Somerset is a working overshot waterwheel mill set in a pretty garden. The mill and museum are not open during the winter months.
The mill re-opens for the 2017 season on Sunday May 28th. For currrent details go to Web: Bishop's Lydeard Mill/ Visitor Information - Opening Times
There are a number of price options and these can be found by going to Web: Bishop's Lydeard Mill/ Visitor Information - Admission Costs
Bishops Lydeard Mill has been painstakingly and precisely restored by the Back Family over many years. The Mill and the attached Mill House have been cited as places of historical interest and given a Grade 2 conservation listing. The aim of the project is to preserve a small piece of history whilst also helping to shape the future into a better one for less fortunate people. Five charities receive all the proceeds and donations raised by patrons of the mill.
Bishops Lydyard is a small village located in the Vale of Taunton Deane. There were originally two mills in the village, Higher and Lower, supplying the area with flour. However, the Higher mill has been demolished, leaving this remaining mill as an excellent example of an overshot waterwheel mill.
Extensive research has revealed that there was a second mill on the site used for fulling. There are no plans to recreate this but Work has been done to restore the Lower corn mill to full working order.
The mill’s wheel is turned by water from the Back Stream that originates in the Brendon Hills and is the same stream that provided the water when the mill was grinding corn over fifty years ago. The water wheel weighs over two tonnes but is so finely engineered that it can be turned from inside the Mill using just two fingers!
In the grounds of this four-storey mill can be found 2 small museums, a gypsy caravan, a shepherds hut, several outdoor displays , the water wheel and a pretty garden.
Among the many traditional trades and crafts on display are the Cooper's and Saddler's shops, the Blacksmith's shop and the Victorian kitchen, as well as a thatching display. The Wheelwight's shop has been transported from Devon and preserved exactly as it was left the day the owner shut up shop for the last time.
There are touch screens for more detailed information, fun interactive activities, detailed, handcrafted models of various wagons and carriages, two scenic displays of different types of mills and a farm yard, and a small Transport Museum.
Although there is limited access for wheelchairs to the mill, the tea room and toilets are fully accessible and the wheel can be clearly viewed, so can the Transport Museum. There is a virtual tour DVD available of the exhibits on the upper 3 floors and Audio Guides.
Stair-lift from ground level to the stone floor of the mill (about 5 steps) with a wheel chair available on the stone floor (please note the DVD is located on this floor).
Dusty Miller’s Tea Room located to the rear of the mill has an excellent view of the water wheel and outdoor seating. It serves homemade cakes (including wheat and gluten free), soft drinks, ice creams and confectionery. There is a small Gift Shop.
Contact & Further Information
Mr & Mrs C Back, The Mill House, Mill Lane, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset TA4 3LN.
+44 (0)1823 432151
- By Heritage Rail
The West Somerset Railway (WSR) has a station at Bishop’s Lydeard. This station is within an easy walk of the Mill.
- By Road
Bishop’s Lydeard is approximately 5.6 miles (9 kms) north-west of Taunton. There is comprehensive information and directions to Bishop's Lydeard on the WSR website, follow this link Web: West Somerset Railway/ Directions
Google Map - Bishop's Lydeard Mill