17th Oct, 2017

Future uncertain for Victorian working mill

A VICTORIAN working mill near Stratford is fearing for its future.

Stratford District Council recently announced it would be prioritising plans to open up the Avon between Stratford and Warwick to leisure boats in a bid to boost tourism.

Avon Navigation Trust proposed the plans some 30 years ago, inspired a long time before by Charles I, who intended to optimise supply routes via rivers, although he never got as far as Warwick.

Charelcote Mill in Hampton Lucy has recently hit out at the plans to increase water levels which would affect the mill’s ability to churn.

The 19th century landmark is one of a handful of traditional working mills across the country.

Miller Karl Grevatt who runs the mill single-handedly, said: “The mill is at the heart of the community. It’s one of two examples of independently working mills in the country and an incredibly rare survivor. It’s essential it’s protected.”

“I try and run the mill as traditionally as possible, it’s a very green business run entirely with natural power. There’s no external money or help coming in.”

The business is entirely sustainable with bread and flour supplied to nearby stores, and artisan bakeries in the area.

And wheat is obtained from a nearby farm, providing further support to the local economy.

District council spokesman Coun Peter Richards said: “The Upper Avon Navigation project has a number of technical issues that will need to be considered as work on the project progresses.

“The ongoing use of the Charlecote Mill being one of those. We have scheduled a meeting with the miller to fully understand its history, current use and potential issues. As further work is undertaken on this project we will be working with the miller and the parish councils to find a suitable solution to the technical issues that arise.”

The grade II listed mill is owned by Edmund Fairfax Lucy – passed down generations of the family behind the name of its sleepy village home.

It is thought to have begun life in 1806, with earlier references to its historic site including in the Doomsday Book in 1086 .

Visit www.charlecotemill.co.uk for more details.

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