Gleaston Water Mill
Gleaston Water Mill, which is situated just north of the village of Gleaston near Ulverston in Cumbria, is a working water corn mill which has been part of the local tradition for over 400 years. Apparently the first watermill on this site is believed to date from the early 1300’s, around the same period as Gleaston Castle, which is just to the north, and which now lies in a state of disrepair.
The present mill was rebuilt in 1774, and although it is not known who the miller was at that time, the Thexton family were tenants from the early 1800’s to approximately 1898. The Huartson family took over the tenancy until 1906 and then the Edmondson family, the Huartson’s cousins, took over and continued milling for human consumption until the 1920’s. The Edmondson family purchased this mill from the Cavendishes of Holker in 1921.
With the introduction of small, cheap, roller mills and improving stream and internal combustion engines to power them, made the water powered mills impracticable. Fortunately this mill also produced crush for animal feed and this operation continued until 1948. Fortunately the family were, in addition to milling, small farmers and market gardeners, who sold their goods through the market in Barrow in Furness. These agricultural activities stopped in 1960, however, Marie (Ainsworth) Edmondson remained the owner of this mill until it was bought by the Breretons in 1987.
Mike and Vicky Brereton started renovations in 1989 and by 2000 much of the work was completed. However, they are still busy with ongoing projects and it is their intention to protect the history and heritage of this mill from future commercial development.
This mill, which has been lovingly restored and which is steeped in history, also offers accommodation, a country store called Pig’s Whisper – if you like pigs this is the store for you, as well as the famous Dusty Miller’s tea and coffee shop where all food is made and cooked on the premises and who cater for vegetarian, coeliac, lactose intolerance, low sodium and diabetic diets. It would be advisable, before embarking on your day out, to check the official Gleaston Water Mill’s website for opening times.