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Alton Watermill

Alton Watermill is an 18th-century mill which was brought to the Food Museum in 1973 to save it from demolition when Alton Water reservoir was constructed.

Built for the production of flour, it is a traditional water-powered corn mill which was originally located in the village of Stutton to the west of Ipswich. The mill was used up until the 1960s, then dismantled in 1971 and re-erected at the museum.

The mill has an overshot waterwheel, which is unique in East Anglia. This type of mill relies on a water source at a higher level than the wheel, so that the weight of water in the buckets pulls the wheel around. Although this is the most efficient type of waterwheel, it was not common in East Anglia as the land is generally flat.

From 2020-2022, the watermill was restored to full working order thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant.

The mill now runs every Friday, with a demonstration and tour at 2pm.

Flour milled at Alton Watermill is available to purchase in the Food Museum shop.