River Slea to drive historic waterwheel once more

Date Published: 15 March 2021

The age-old sights and sounds of water-powered milling will return to Cogglesford Watermill in Sleaford following £51,000 of works which will also include exciting improvements for visitors.

The waterwheel at Cogglesford Watermill will be driven by the River Slea once again following £30,500 of repair works, which are being funded by North Kesteven District Council.

The mill’s historic stones currently grind flour using electricity, after issues with the water wheel were identified in 2018 and the decision taken to rely solely on the back-up electric motor to help protect the wheel from further damage. 

The works will see the waterwheel carefully repaired and restored, safeguarding it for future generations to see and enjoy as part of the site’s authentic milling experience.

Meanwhile a further £20,500 from the Council will fund an improved experience for visitors to Cogglesford Watermill, including new information boards and potential improvements to protect other features where appropriate.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council Councillor Richard Wright, said: “It’s incredibly important to ensure our history and heritage in North Kesteven lives on, both for our enjoyment now and for the benefit of future generations, through such sites as Cogglesford Watermill and we’re very proud to offer it as a visitor attraction in the Heart of Lincolnshire.  

“Witnessing the grind of its millstones provides a wonderful living, moving link back to the past. To see and hear the waterwheel turn once more from the waters of the River Slea will be a wonderful moment.

“We’re keen that everyone has the opportunity to come and experience Cogglesford Watermill at its fullest, from school groups to individuals and families of all ages, so at the same time as restoration to the waterwheel we’ll be improving the visitor experience in lots of ways.

“Investing in this project not only preserves our heritage but also plays an important part in our tourism strategy, which will be vital in helping kick start the local economy coming out of the pandemic.”

Both tranches of the works are expected to start in late spring and planned to complete in early summer, allowing the mill to reopen as a popular heritage attraction where visitors can see the thousand-year tradition of milling at the site continue.

The mill’s backup motor will remain in place to provide any extra power needed. The works aren’t expected to impact the paths and walkways surrounding the mill.

While currently closed due to the current Coronavirus restrictions, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of milling at Cogglesford through virtual tours at heartoflincs.com

There’s also bookable guided virtual tours on offer, the next being Sunday 14 March. You can find out more and how to book at heartoflincs.com

You can also follow @northkestevendc and @heartoflincs on social media for further updates. 

Cogglesford Watermill, Sleaford