Keeping the Wheel Turning
Thorrington Tide Mill is the only remaining tide mill in Essex, built in 1831. We are currently working with Historic England to preserve this special building for future generations to enjoy.
We are fundraising to finance ongoing work for the building, including:
Carrying out detailed surveys of damage
Painting and repairing the outer structure
Repairing the wheelhouse and restoring the wheel to working order
Repairing the framework supporting the gears and millstones
Repairing the creekside retaining wall
Meeting health and safety requirements to open to the public
Updating educational information for visitors
Please do get in touch if you’d like to help by making a donation or by becoming a volunteer:
About Thorrington Tide Mill
Although the present mill was built in 1831, there has been a mill at the head of Alresford Creek since the 17th century. The present mill on the dam is a tall three-storeyed timber-framed building. Its white-painted weatherboarding is typical of Essex mill buildings.
On an incoming tide, a sluice – a water channel controlled by a gate – opens in the dam, allowing the mill pool to fill. On the ebb tide, the stored water is released by another sluice, driving the waterwheel. Through a series of mechanical gears, the waterwheel rotates the millstones, which grind corn fed into a central hole.
Corn was brought to the mill and placed directly under the lucam – projecting structure with a doorway on the third storey – in sacks on a cart, then lifted to the top floor by a sack hoist, also powered by the waterwheel.
Thorrington Mill is recorded as having had very high-quality millstones, imported from France, which would have produced the finest grade white flour. Although much of the mill’s flour may have been used locally, small vessels such as barges could dock at the landing place next to the mill to take goods for export. The mill continued working until 1926.
You can read a full history of the mill here.
How You Can Help
We are in the process of creating a charitable trust for the mill. We rely on donations and grants to contribute to the upkeep of the mill so future generations can continue to enjoy its unique history and location. We are currently crowdfunding and you can find more information here.
Become a Volunteer
You can get involved today by becoming a volunteer and helping maintain and open the mill for visitors when we are ready to reopen. Please email email@example.com
How and When to Find Us
Brightlingsea Road, Thorrington, Essex, CO7 8JL
A small car park only available on mill open days
No toilet facilities are available
The mill is normally open seven times a year from April to October and we hope to return to this schedule as soon as possible once we have completed work, in partnership with Historic England, to ensure the mill is safe for public visits.
Guided tours are available by donation on open days, giving visitors a vivid account of the mill’s operation and its importance in the local area.
Messages From the Mill
- A History of Thorrington Tide MillThere was a mill at Thorrington at the time of Domesday Book when the area was included as part of the lands owned by Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux, and half-brother to William the Conqueror, in the Hundred of Tendring: Æthelstan held Thorrington as one manor and as four hides. Now Ralph FitzTurold holds itContinue reading “A History of Thorrington Tide Mill”
- Thorrington Tide Mill OwnershipIn 2019, there was a change of ownership with Thorrington Tide Mill once again becoming part of the family run Mill Farm.
Become a Volunteer
A team of passionate local volunteers ensure that the mill is opened for visitors to enjoy. Please contact us for more info.
Useful links and further reading
Photographs by Roger W Haworth and Ashley Dace, used under Creative Commons.